Home Morocco World News Truths and misconceptions about the Party of Justice and Development

Truths and misconceptions about the Party of Justice and Development

By Zakaria El Idrissi

Morocco World News

Fez, April 2, 2013

History is very important in the formation of reality as is in the case of the Moroccan Islamic movements. However, historical realities or facts are often distorted by human subjectivities; historical memory is usually formed out of a world of power relations. Therefore, contextual analysis of the history of the Moroccan Islamic movements may mislead a researcher who seeks a truthful construction. To avoid the discursiveness of historical interpretations, it would then be more useful to adopt a textual and non-historical analysis of the PJD discourse. The current discourse of the PJD towards the Islamic youth movement seems filled with contradictions and gaps, which uncover to a great extent the political hypocrisy of the so-called ‘Islamic party’.

In one of his interviews with Idriss lshgar, Secretary General of the Party of Socialsist Forces (USFP),  which was published in the weekly le journal, Hespress, and the socialist union journal Mustapha Ramid, the current minister of justice, admits that neither Mr. Abdelilah Benkirane, Lahcen Daoudi nor Saad Edin Othmani were members of the Islamic youth movements.

Ironically, however, the leaders of the PJD still claim their historical affiliation with the Islamic youth movement. Why then is there such inconsistency, if not to say contradiction, in the PJD voices? Seemingly, the PJD tries usually to reconstitute itself as a true pioneer of the Islamic voice through its historical affiliation with  the first Islamic movement in modern Morocco. To put it simply, the party tries to gain a stable glory and Islamic legitimacy through a false historical Islamic militancy so as to dominate over other Islamic movements.

Mr. Ramid claims that he is the only one who was a member of the Islamic youth movement and that he himself met Mouti’ (the head of the Islamic Youth Movement) with whom he discussed Islamic issues. But ironically, Mouti’ left Morocco for exile in Saudi Arabia in 1975 when Ramid was only sixteen. So, how could a child  be an active member in a movement and engage in debates about Islamic issues with a Muslim scholar like Mouti’. Sarcastically, Ramid seemingly endeavors to compare himself to Ali Bnu Abi Taleb, the first child who turned Muslim and revealed a great Islamic passion in his early childhood. Certainly, Ramid, as do other PJD leaders, attempts to establish himself as a heroic Islamic voice to legitimize his political existence inside and outside the PJD party.

In more a contradictory way, the PJD party gains its legitimacy through its historical affiliation with the Islamic youth movement and reveals the right of the Islamic youth movement exiles to return to Morocco. At the same time, the PJD leads a critical campaign against the Islamic Youth Movement and Mouti’. In Tajdid, the journal of the PJD party, a series of articles have been published, in which Mouti’s and his followers are degraded with abusive epithets. In Tajdid, the Islamic Youth Movement is associated with violence, terrorism and extremism. But why, again, such inconsistency? On the surface, the PJD voices praise their historical membership in the Islamic Youth Movement, but down deep they are animated by hatred against the Shabiba leaders. Certainly, the PJD would like to exploit the political Islamic vacuum for its benefits; the PJD seeks to exercise Islamic political hegemony on the public without any kind of  rivalry.

It is, therefore, in the context of the absence of Mouti’ and his movement along with the absence of political Islamic voices that the PJD gains legitimacy. It is certainly through  constructed stories about their historical affiliation with the youth Islamic movement that the leaders of the PJD have achieved a heroic Islamic status vis-a-vis the public opinion. However, their impeding of the return of Mouti’ and their  abusive critical campaign against the youth Islamic Movement reveals to a great extent the PJD’s desire to exclude its Islamic rivals and, by doing so,  confirms its dishonesty and its political hypocrisy.

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Morocco World News’ editorial policy

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