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Duke University

Publication Date

Fall 2015

Program Name

Morocco: Multiculturalism and Human Rights


Over the last decades in the Middle East and North Africa, there has been much governmental change in both incorporating and letting go of religious practices and influence, and this incorporation has been linked to many conversations on human rights, free-will and choice, and democracy (Tessler 2002). Additionally, Muedini writes about how Sufism and its increase has affected politics in both Algeria and Morocco, in which he suggests that Sufism has led to a less extreme take on religion, and that it can be used to “counter Islamist organizations that are politically challenging to the government” (Muedini 2012, p. 201). For this reason, I propose the theory that Sufism contains the values, principles, and internal control needed in order to alleviate the relevance of politicized polarizations, like the Shi’a-Sunni divide, and an overall reclaiming of religion through depolarization, depoliticization, and internalization, giving individuals greater agency and choice over themselves, their practice, and their religion. To manifest this theory, I have created a 14-piece mixed-media art gallery in which I dissect and challenge my theory. Due to the abstract nature of both art and Sufism, the gallery space is fluid in interpretation and intentionally does not point to a set, clear message. In the following statement, supplementing digital copies of my 14 works, I will elaborate on my gallery space, including themes, intersectionality, symbolisms, and intended impact of my presentation and how that links back to my idealized theory about Sufism.


Family, Life Course, and Society | Islamic Studies | Other Political Science | Politics and Social Change | Religion | Social and Cultural Anthropology | Sociology of Culture | Sociology of Religion


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