French the language of the colonial rule

The French office tended to turn the traditional Morocco to modernized country that considers French as official language and as culture through the education.

The late of nineteen century and beginning of the twenty century, the French started their imperialist colonization over the North Africa. The French colonized Morocco under the act of protectorate. In fact, the French occupied the country in order to civilize population through providing French culture and language instead of Moroccan-Arab-Muslim traditions. This is concluded in the French saying “When Portuguese colonized, they built churches; when British colonized, they built trading stations; when French colonized, they built schools‟‟ (garden, 1962; p7). Upon this saying the French endeavored to alter the Moroccan culture and language towards a similar colony to that of France. As Bidwell states (1973, p. 237)


“Pour l’établissement durable de notre influence dans le pays, chaque école ouverte
vaut mieux qu’une bataille gagnée”


(“For the purpose of the permanent establishment of our influence in the country,
every school which is opened is worth more than a battle won” (Translation of
Bentahila, 1983)


“The French policy had the effect of introducing a new lifestyle, a new set of values, and of encouraging the Moroccan to reject everything which belonged to his own culture” (Bentahila, 1983; p6). The French established an education system alongside the traditional one existed in
Morocco. This system, which is similar to that one in France itself, aimed to offer number of employees to fell lower jobs that characterized by routine in the administration (Bentahila, 1983). There were different types of schools founded, as Bentahila stated (1983). The European schools were for the French children with syllabuses similar to the French one. These schools were allowing the children of Moroccan elite to access. Besides, the Franco-Islamic schools were related to social class at the level of students. Another type of schools, rural schools, established in order to instruct country children. Of all these schools, the best students may attain the secondary school (Bentahila, 1983). Through these diverse types of schools, it was claimed that they are bilingual, however, the main language of instruction was French. Beside, students have been acquiring the given content related the French culture marginalizing the local identity while the classical Arabic has survived through the religious studies.


2.3.1. Berber Act


Not only The French enhance their culture on the account of Moroccan one but they went further to establishing new schools that segregate between the Arabs and the Amazighs, so-called Berber decree ( Dahir Berber) in 1930 (Bentahila, 1983). This decree tend to isolate next generation from the Arab-Islamic culture through establishing schools gives courses in French and Amazigh and abandoned the Arabic.

Among the founders of this policy, the orientalists who serve the French office in Morocco during the protectorate period, Allal El Fassi (1980) quoted in his book; 

Goudefroy Demombynes (1928) said;

“The French language not the Tamazight should replace the Arabic as the language of
the people and the civilization” (my translation)


“The strength of Barbarian policy embodied the artificial isolation of the Amazighs
from Arabs and approximated them to us through traditions” (my translation)


Colonel Marti (1925) stressed;

“The schools established in Morocco, it is similar to that of France and barbarian with its pupils, so there is no need of foreign infiltration of Arabs and the preacher, any Islamic practices must be entirely prohibited” (my translation)


Maurice Le Glay followed;


“It is an obligation to eliminate the teaching of the Islam and Arabic from the Amazigh schools and write Amazigh varieties with Latin scripts” (my translation) 

General Lyautey‟s decree reflected

“We should not be teaching Arabic to the population that has always refrained from learning it. Arabic is one of the factors of the spread of Islam, since the teaching of Arabic takes place through the Koran, while our interest consists in developing the Amazighs outside of the Islamic sphere” (al-Wadghiri, 1993)


These quotations concluded the determination of the colonial power so as to establish a country which excluded all that belong to the Arabic-Muslim culture and enhancing that of the west and Christianity in mindset of Amazighs, as Maurice Le Glay finished his article “we should teach Amazighs everything except the Islam” (1980). However, this policy which was introduced to the castle and received an agreement from it, the population has come through this situation shrewdly, while the nationalists established “Al Madaris al Hurra”. These schools preserved the classical Arabic and religious studies which were given to the children.


The French educational ideology which tended to segregate between Amazighs and Arabs did not success at the time. In the moment, the country has enhanced the agreement between different groups of population to enliven the sense of the patriotism to defend their identity and religion from the eradication. However, the sensitivity among these two significant elements increased later after the independence.

French the language of the colonial rule

 
In the next section, I will induce the linguistic situation of the country sociolinguistically.

Next  of same Article: 

Linguistic situation of Morocco

One thought on “French the language of the colonial rule

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: