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Berber Government

Author: Hugh Roberts
Publisher: I.B.Tauris
ISBN: 1845112512
Size: 30.80 MB
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The Berber identity movement in North Africa was pioneered by the Kabyles of Algeria. But a preoccupation with identity and language has obscured the fact that Kabyle dissidence has been rooted in democratic aspirations inspired by the political traditions of Kabylia itself, a Berber-speaking region in the north of Algeria. The political organisation of pre-colonial Kabylia, from which these traditions originate, was well-described by nineteenth-century French ethnographers. But their inability to explain it led to a trend amongst later theorists of Berber society, such as Ernest Gellner and Pierre Bourdieu, to dismiss Kabylia's political institutions, notably the jema'a (assembly or council), and to reduce Berber politics to a function of social structure and shared religion. In Berber Government, Hugh Roberts, a renowned expert on North Africa, uncovers and explores the remarkable logics of Kabyle political organisation. Combining political anthropology and political and social history in an interdisciplinary analysis, Roberts challenges the excessive emphasis on kinship and religion in the study of the Maghreb.


Author: Allen James Fromherz
Publisher: I.B.Tauris
ISBN: 0857712071
Size: 68.90 MB
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How did an obscure Islamic visionary found an empire? The Almohad Empire at its zenith in the 12th century was the major power in Mediterranean and North Africa, ruling a huge and disparate region from the Atlas Mountains to Tunisia, Morocco and Andalusia. Allen Fromherz, drawing on medieval Arabic and Berber sources, analyses the history and myths surrounding the rise of the Almohads. He shows how Muhammad Ibn Tumart, the son of an obscure Berber tribal chief, founded his mission to reform Islam - then at a low point in its history, battered by the crusades, having lost Jerusalem and been undermined by weak spiritual and political leadership. Ibn Tumart was proclaimed Mahdi by the Berber tribes, as one who heralded the golden age of Islam. He provided charismatic leadership, and a message of unswerving adherence to absolute monotheism and fundamental Islam, to be enforced by jihad - holy war. He died in 1130, before his dream could be accomplished but his successors quickly built on his foundation, conquering Marrakech - the door to the Sahara gold trade and the greatest city of commerce and trade in North Africa. Ibn Tumart and his legacy were to prove the launch-pad for empire, leading to Almohad domination of the Western Mediterranean from Tunisia to Morocco and Andalusia. It became the seat of a brilliant civilisation, the seed-bed of a 12th-century renaissance and flowering of scholarship which reached far into the Middle East and Europe. Fromherz shows how Tumart formed the sinews of empire - by charismatic leadership, a reformed and powerful Islam, unity based on the closely-knit traditions of the Berber tribes, military power and sound administration. This is the first account of the Almohads in English and will be essential for all who are interested in Islam, the Almohad Empire, North Africa and Middle East, and the lasting cultural effect on the region and on Europe.


Author: Roberto Mazza
Publisher: I.B.Tauris
ISBN: 0857713930
Size: 52.65 MB
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Led by General Allenby, British troops entered Jerusalem in December 1917, thereby ending Ottoman rule and opening a new and important era in the history of Jerusalem. This historical moment has often been described as the beginning of a period of great change and transformation, depicting the British as the real modernisers of Jerusalem. In this study, Mazza does not offer just another history of Jerusalem. He focuses on the often neglected transition from Ottoman rule to British administration, examining the impact of the First World War and considering the socio-political changes which occurred as a result of the transition. He also considers the impact of these changes on the local population and how they, in turn, could act as agents of change in this formative period. He discusses the role of the British in Jerusalem as well as reactions to the occupation in Britain. Through the extensive use of case studies and unpublished archival material from Spain and Vatican archives, Mazza takes a fresh approach to this period of Jerusalem’s history; focusing on a previously overlooked area and opening the field to new perspectives and research.

Mu Ammad Ibn Abd Al Wahh B

Author: ʻAbd Allāh al-Ṣāliḥ ʻUthaymīn
Publisher: I. B. Tauris
Size: 61.92 MB
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The Saudi religious reform movement of the 18th and 19th centuries, known in the west as Wahhabism, is one of the most controversial and misunderstood religious movements of the modern Middle East. This biography of its founder, Muhammad Ibn Abd Al-Wahhab, is the first serious English-language account written not from a Western, but an Arabian perspective. Based on exhaustive research of primary sources, Abd-Allah Salih Al-Uthaimin reconstructs the social, political and spiritual environment of the Arabian peninsula in the time of Ibn Abd Al-Wahhab. The author charts this movement's intellectual development and growing sway, and unpicks the historic alliance of its founder with the House of Al-Saud: a uniquely close partnership of political and religious relationships whose legacy is felt in the Saudi state to this day. Al-Uthaimin also provides a detailed exposition and commentary on Ibn Abd Al-Wahhab's doctrines, based on his published and unpublished works, and explains his perspective on concepts such as tawhid, takfir and sharia. This meticulously researched biography offers a unique insight into its complex and often controversial subject. As such, it will become essential reading for anyone interested in political Islam, Saudi Arabia and the modern Middle East.