Hicham Ben Abdallah El Alaoui

Hicham Ben Abdallah El Alaoui, a visiting researcher at the Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law at Stanford University, is the founder of the Institute for the Transregional Study of the Contemporary Middle East, North Africa, and Central Asia at Princeton University and the Moulay Hicham Foundation for Social Science Research on North Africa and the Middle East in Geneva. He has published widely on political and social issues in the Arab and Muslim world. A shorter version of this essay appeared in Le Monde diplomatique in August 2010.

January 2011, Volume 22, Issue 1

The Split in Arab Culture

A powerful “salafist” public norm has taken root in the Arab world, becoming the main symbol of resistance to Westernization. At the same time, however, new cultural forces in the private domain are promoting a dynamic of secularization.