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A Brief Description of Ancient Moroccan Political Structure and the True and Divine Name of Africa


“Then came the word Ethiopia, which means the demarcation line of the dominion of Amexem, the first true and divine name of Africa-The dividing of the land between the father and the son.”


In the above quote from the Holy Koran of the Moorish Science Temple of America (Ch.47:3), the Prophet’s use of the term Amexem (Al-Makhzen) is political and not geographical, as it refers to dominions, specifically with the “dividing of land” between two groups of people.  One of the long-time stumbling blocks for Moorish American researchers into this topic is the presumption of names being associated with natural geography (locations, places, etc.) and not political geography (kingdoms, dominions, empires, etc.).  Resultantly, efforts in locating an actual place called Amexem in ancient times has proved fruitless.


Amexem/Al-Makhzen (Moroccan Arabic: مخزِن) is representative of the ancient governing elite in Morocco and in pre-1957 Tunisia, centered around the Sultan (later King) and consisting of royal notables, businessmen, wealthy landowners, tribal leaders, top-ranking military personnel, security service bosses, and other well-connected members of the establishment.


Amexem/Al-Makhzen is a very ancient notion in Morocco, it roughly coincides with the notion of the ancient feudalist state predating the French protectorate, and hence the Moroccan nationalist movement. Resident-General General Lyautey (in office 1912-25) a fervent proponent of the indirect colonization effort during the French occupation, especially in Berber-speaking areas, kept that role and even enhanced it by given an important role to local notables such as T’hami El Glaoui, to act as a liason between the governed indigenous population and the French authorities to govern the country.


The term’s use by the Prophet Noble Drew Ali, describing it as “the first true and divine name of Africa,” tends to connect the Moorish Movement in America to the Moroccan Nationalist movement amongst the indigenous Moroccans that were in opposition to the Spanish and French Protectorates.  Such a connection is underscored by the Prophet Drew Ali’s use of the term Islamism as the description of the religion of the Moorish American; the “old time religion.”


Islamism (Islam+-ism; Arabic: إسلام سياسي Islām siyāsī, “Political Islam”, or الإسلامية al-Islāmīyah) is a set of ideologies holding that Islam should guide social and political as well as personal life.  Islamism is a controversial neologism, and definitions of it sometimes vary. Leading Islamist thinkers emphasize the implementation of Sharia (Islamic law); of pan-Islamic political unity; and of the selective removal of non-Muslim, particularly Western military, economic, political, social, or cultural influences in the Muslim world that they believe to be incompatible with Islam.  Some observers suggest Islamism’s tenets are less strict, and can be defined as a form of identity politics or “support for Moslem identity and authenticity, broader regionalism, revivalism, and revitalization of community.  In very recent times political Islam has been described as “increasingly interdependent” with political democracy.  Islamism from the Moorish American perspective embodies the ideal that the core three tenets of the Faith of Abraham (Islam/Belief, Iman/Faith, Ihsan/Fruition), be integrated into everyday life as the cornerstone for community development.  The term, which originally denoted the religion of Islam, first appeared in English as Islamismus in 1696, and as Islamism in 1712. By the turn of the twentieth century it had begun to be displaced by the shorter and purely Arabic term Islam, although it was adopted by the Prophet Drew Ali in 1925-1928 to describe the Moorish American politico-religious practice. By 1938, when Orientalist scholars completed The Encyclopaedia of Islam, it seems to have virtually disappeared from the English language, however, the term in its non-radical “fundamentalist” meaning has been retained by the teachings of the Moorish Science Temple of America.  Islamism, or political Islam, stands opposite of apolitical Islam, or quietism, and questions the Islamic validity of an Islamic practice that does not/should not be reflected in the community’s political fabric.


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