Franco's Hajj: Moroccan Pilgrims, Spanish Fascism, and the unexpected journeys of modern Arabic literature

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

Journey to Mecca ( The Greek passage); al-Rihla al-Makkiyya; 1941), by the distinguished Moroccan historian and legal scholar Ahmad al-Rahuni, recounts a hajj, or pilgrimage to Mecca, sponsored by the fascist Spanish dictator Francisco Franco in 1937. Franco's support for the hajj was part of a vast propaganda efort to cast Franco's Spain as a friend of Islam and a defender of the cultural heritage of al-Andalus (medieval Muslim Iberia). Al-Rahuni's travel narrative blurs the line between Mecca and Spain by casting Spain's Islamic heritage sites as a metaphoric Mecca to which Muslims should make pilgrimage. he account thus highlights the collaboration between Spanish fascists and Moroccan elites. It also complicates the dominant scholarly narratives about modern Arabic literature, which have tended to focus on Egypt, the novel, and secular epistemologies. Al-Rahuni's text speaks, instead, to the persistence of Arabic prose genres that do not conform to a Eurocentric notion of literature.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1097-1116
Number of pages20
JournalPMLA
Volume132
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2017

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fascism
pilgrimage
Spain
Muslim
narrative
propaganda
cultural heritage
epistemology
Egypt
Islam
persistence
historian
genre
elite
travel
literature
Arabic Literature
Hajj
Fascism
Journey

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Literature and Literary Theory

Cite this

Franco's Hajj : Moroccan Pilgrims, Spanish Fascism, and the unexpected journeys of modern Arabic literature. / Calderwood, Eric Stickley.

In: PMLA, Vol. 132, No. 5, 10.2017, p. 1097-1116.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

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