Alone among Muslim countries, Morocco is known for its own national form of Islam, “Moroccan Islam.” However, Moroccan Islam was actually invented in the early twentieth century by French ethnographers and colonial officers influenced by British colonial practices in India. Between 1900 and 1920, these researchers compiled a social inventory of Morocco that in turn led to the emergence of a new object of study, Moroccan Islam, and a new field, Moroccan studies. In the process, they resurrected the monarchy and reinvented Morocco as a modern polity.
Edmund (“Terry”) Burke III is Research Professor of History at the University of California Santa Cruz, where he directed the Center for World History.
Most recently, he is the author of The Ethnographic State: France and the Invention of Moroccan Islam (California, 2014). Burke has edited numerous books and articles on Middle East and North African history, orientalism, environmental history and world history.
Center for Middle Eastern and North African Studies, Islamic Studies Program, and Center for European Studies
Edmund Burke III, Research Professor of History, University of California-Santa Cruz