Monday, August 1, 2011
For another story about the importance of the humble donkey, read the section on the collapse of the sultan's authority in precolonial Morocco, pages 131-133 in the book Morocco: From Empire to Independence, by C.R. Pennell. The author suggests that the most serious rebellion during that time was led by Jilal bin Idris, a former government functionary who was briefly imprisoned for forgery. In 1902 he garnered support in the mountains near Fez, "claiming to be Mawley Mahammad, the sultan's long-imprisoned brother. He used his skill as a magician to gain credence and, like so many religious rebels in North Africa, mounted himself on the back of a donkey."