In This Review

Le Sabre et le Turban: L'avenir du Maghreb
Le Sabre et le Turban: L'avenir du Maghreb
By Remy Leveau
Editions François Bourin, 1993, 272 pp

One of France's most respected specialists on North Africa has produced a fine study that examines the roots of the current political malaise in Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia. Taking into account the specific national experiences of each country, Leveau sees as a common theme the contest between the army, as the real power behind the state, and Islamic political movements, which are increasingly able to mobilize those left out of political life. Neither of these forces will defeat the other; instead, different forms of accommodation are envisaged. He sees Islamic movements in the Maghreb today as somewhat analogous to communist parties in Europe in the 1930s. They will not come to power, but they will bring many of the disenfranchised into politics and affect the terms of political discourse. A thought-provoking book that gets beyond stereotypes of the "green menace" without harboring illusions about how the Islamists would likely behave if they did come to power.