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Pomona College

Publication Date

Fall 2023

Program Name

Morocco: Multiculturalism and Human Rights


The death of the Prophet in the 7th century paved the way for the Umayyad Caliphate, one of the largest empires by land to exist in human history. Most notably, the Umayyads controlled a territory that spanned from India across North Africa into Spain. Along this expansionary route, the Arab Umayyads interacted with, integrated, and fought local indigenous Amazigh people all along Northern Africa into Morocco. Historical records about the Umayyad influence in Morocco are widely varied, ranging from later Abbasaid records to 20th century European interpretations. At its core, the Umayyad conquest of Morocco has fallen victim to interpretations based on ideological biases of interpreters rather than a thorough examination of the material reality 7th century Arabs faced. This paper offers a new direction: a synthesis of existing historical records under an interpretative framework of dialectical materialism.

Combining what is left from the Umayyad and Amazigh histories alike with Karl Marx’s synthesis of Hegel’s dialectical idealism and materialist philosophy, this paper explains how Islam, Umayyad government structure, and Amazigh resistance are all linked to one another via the physical conditions of North Africa in the 7th century.


African History | Arabic Studies | Indigenous Studies | Medieval History | Peace and Conflict Studies | Philosophy


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