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Religion as Resistance – Negotiating Authority in Italian Libya - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Religion as Resistance: Negotiating Authority in Italian Libya

Eileen Ryan


During the Italian occupation of Libya, debates over where Italy should be on the continuum between coercion and collaboration in colonial rule often reflected contentious battles over religious identity in Italian nationalism. These tensions came into sharpest relief in the Italian attempts to develop a power-sharing relationship with elite members of the Muslim Sufi order, the Sanusiyya in eastern Libya. Perceptions of the Sanusiyya as religious fundamentalists suggested to some the utility of emphasizing a shared sense of religious conservatism to “sell” Italian colonial rule. Others, howev ... More

Keywords: Italian colonialism, imperialism, Sanusiyya, Libya, Sufism, Islam, national identity, fascism, resistance, collaboration

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2018 Print ISBN-13: 9780190673796
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2018 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190673796.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Eileen Ryan, author
Assistant Professor of History, Temple University