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Held in TrustWaqf in the Islamic World$
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Pascale Gazaleh

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9789774163937

Published to Cairo Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5743/cairo/9789774163937.001.0001

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Waqfs of Cyrenaica and Italian Colonialism in Libya (1911–41)1

Waqfs of Cyrenaica and Italian Colonialism in Libya (1911–41)1

Chapter:
(p.155) 7 Waqfs of Cyrenaica and Italian Colonialism in Libya (1911–41)1
Source:
Held in Trust
Author(s):

Anna Maria Medici

Publisher:
American University in Cairo Press
DOI:10.5743/cairo/9789774163937.003.0008

An example of contending definitions of waqf is offered in this chapter's view at Cyrenaica under Italian colonial rule, where Muslims initially attributed the legitimacy of waqf to Qur'anic stipulations, hoping in this way to buttress the security of waqf assets and set up a barrier to colonial economic penetration. As for the Italians, they tried to interpret complex regulations pertaining to waqf in such a way as to take full advantage of resources ‘from within.’ In Cyrenaica, waqfs were dismantled mostly through the confiscation and expropriation of their landed assets. The methods adopted by the Italians had needlessly tragic consequences for local communities and resulted mainly from the lacunae and contradictions inherent in Italian colonial policy. At the core of such contradictions with regard to waqf was the Italians' religious policy, exalted in the 1930s by Fascism, which promoted itself as the “sword of Islam.”

Keywords:   Cyrenaica, Italian colonial rule, waqf, Qur'anic stipulations, Italians' religious policy, Fascism

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