Minority politics in the Mediterranean world – Ariana Brown

One thing I liked about this Paul Silverstein piece was the fact that it gives us a glimpse of the Mediterranean that we don’t always discuss. Everyone knows that the Mediterranean is comprised of countries like Italy and Greece, but I don’t feel like we have enough conversation about the others. The discussion of Morrocco and this idea of a “sovereign Muslim state” is what I was talking about when I mentioned getting a glimpse of a Mediterranean culture that I don’t personally generally think of. The new constitution that was in July 2011 proclaimed that Morroco was a “modern, cosmopolitan nation” which I found interesting seeing as though where it was also described as a Muslim state where Islam was given preeminence. I’m not denoting that there is anything wrong with a nation having a declared religion, but Silverstein explained that this new constitution was supposed to modernize the country and it seems as though this new document is still borrowing some of the old language.

For example, article 3 of the new constitution states that Islam is the religion of the state, yet “the free exercise” of other faiths is “guaranteed”. I wonder how true that is. I kind of feel that no specific religion needs to be known as the religion of that specific state if the practice of all religions is guaranteed. The same was said about the official language. One of my other classes is actually centered around minority politics so it’s nice to see that the courses I chose this semester are intersecting, as they should. It seems as though some people believe that instituting minority politics is the solution to previous governments that have marginalized certain people groups. While minority politics may provide a better representation of said groups, I don’t feel that it is the final answer. Basing politics merely off of ethnicity and/or religion can cause other issues.

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