In the article ‘Minority politics in the Mediterranean world’ by Paul A. Silverstein, talks about a change in the Moroccan constitution, following large country-wide protests calling for more equality among minorities. Paul mentions in his article that this new constitution would both make various aspects of Muslim culture still important in government (ie, Islam the state religion, Arabic state language), as well as allowing others to speak in their own tongues and practice their own faiths. However, even as the various minorities in Morocco are told that they are now welcome, it seems that they do not feel that way, to which I cannot fault them for. After all, the Moroccan constitution itself states that Muslim is the religion of the government, not what ever faith another practices. It is even mentioned the the Paul’s article that those who speak Tamazight have to deal with a local government who may treat them unequally, who feel that they are burdened by having to speak a language that they may not know well. What I would like to ask is how might a like Morocco be able to truly represent both its minorities, and those in the majority ethnic groups.
The reading of Schneider Vigilance and Virgins by Jane Schneider was an interesting read on honor and shame in the more rural and pastoral parts of the Mediterranean. I found it interesting in how the reading portrayed how inheritance works in the various societies, and how this is affected by how men and women are treated in these societies. In the section titled “Fragmentation in Pastoral Societies of the Mediterranean”, I found it interesting how the author in a way states that pastoral societies with low resources will tend to form economic units centered around the immediate family. This might make it more honorable in a way to conserve resources, and might influence the culture to use less as well as creating strong family ties. There is also a part discussing how inheritance works in some parts of the European side of the Mediterranean, and how one’s sons and daughters will have equal parts of a inheritance. There is however also a part that discuses how this can lead to tension and distrust within a family, as the land will not always be given equally. In most of the European side of the Mediterranean, it seems that the inheritance is usually given to the head male of the family, however the author does talk about how this can lead to distrust between farther and son over the inheritance. On the flip side, the author at some point mentions how in pastoral societies that the husband will in one way or another show distrust towards his wife, as his wife could undermine her husband and his inheritance. So what is with all this distrust in these societies when in comes to one’s inheritance?
I have to say I have learned a lot from what I read until now. I found it interesting in how some think of the Mediterranean as two civilizations, with the two civilizations being, or so I believe, the mostly Christian Europe side of the Mediterranean and the mostly Islamic African and Asian parts of the Mediterranean. I also found it interesting in how in one of the readings, the author mentioned that all the cities of the Mediterranean might be considered to have a mix of the various cultures and peoples that make up the cities, as well as having their own identity.