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The Kiss of Nador and the Hypocrisy of Moroccan Society

Larbi Arbaoui
Dedicated free-lance journalist with three years of experience as a news correspondent, translator, and editor. Larbi has been working as a journalist, reporting and conducting interviews for more than two years for international on-line publication ...
The Kiss of Nador and the Hypocrisy of Moroccan Society

TAROUDANT- The controversial issue of the teenagers from Nador arrested over posting a photo on Facebook of them kissing unveils the social hypocrisy of the Moroccan society. This scandal, over which the Moroccan society is divided into two opposing groups, reveals once again the gaffs of the authorities and the naivety of society.

Certainly a kiss is the most romantic and intimate way to show someone how much you care about them; yet, sharing kisses in public is not always comfortable for the couple and are unwelcomed in Moroccan culture. However, in some major cities in the kingdom, the public displays of affection shared on the streets, at the beach, and in well-known cafes give the impression that the Moroccan society is no longer the kind of conservative society which regards a kiss in open spaces an immoral behavior.

The scandalous videos posted on YouTube about Moroccan girls in extremely sexually explicit scenes are more shameful and should be the center of attention by the authorities and associations which claim to stand for the national pride and honor. You simply type the word MAROC or Bnat on YouTube and you will stay enthralled by hundreds of homemade provocative videos bearing different titles and cheap content that breaches the reputation of our country. These are the videos that should spark public outrage and call on the urgent action from the authorities. I wonder why such associations that claim to defend the human rights have never filed lawsuits against the owners of such YouTube channels for violating public decency.

I invite the readers to have the presence of mind before deciding who really impose a threat to  public decency. Is it a photo taken by an adolescent to his peers while driven by passion which, according to new scientific studies, has a moving force on teenagers’ behaviors? Or videos of mature adults engaging in explicit activities in total consciousness of being filmed?

I no longer understand how the public opinion has remained silent regarding such immoral videos while phrasing eloquent expressions denouncing the kiss exchanged by two minors. Does a kiss really impose a threat to the national order and social harmony to the extent of arresting the kids involved? It is up to you to decide.

But, let me cast your mind back to the famous kiss of the Moroccan writer Moulim El Aroussi who posted on January a photo with his wife lip locked on Facebook. The act, as the writer explained on his Facebook page, was a reaction to the uproar caused by the complain of the Justice and Development Party members on a Egyptian plane over a kiss shown at the beginning of the movie Spiderman. It is true that the couple were subject to criticism, but no association or organization dared to take them to the court for violating public decency or inciting immorality. One may also argue that the couple is married. Well, does the Moroccan marriage contract gives the right to couples united under marriage to explicitly manifest their love and exchange kisses in public? Maybe, but to my knowledge, no lawsuit was filed against Moroccan writer and his wife.

I am not defending the right of kids to kiss one another freely in public, but I strongly believe that the punitive approach has never yield any fruitful results and should not be a method in the education of teenagers. Those kids involved in acts against socially accepted morals need the care and support of an educator to show them the wrong side of what they did. After their photo went viral, I guess the kids will develop a psychological complex towards kissing that won’t be easily forgotten.

But, it seems that the kids are going to become heroes who will liberate those stolen kisses in hidden places to be common practice after the many people they inspire—who are campaigning now for kiss-ins.

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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Comments (22)

  • Rachid

    Thank you very much for these illuminating insights, but I would appreciate if you can give us some explicit detailes about this decency that these two teenagers have violated. I wonder why we always go against nature by oppressing, under the name of decency, almost everything that has to do with man-woman personal relationship. In addition, I would like to comment on your statement when you said that the authorities should arrest instead the owners of the vulgar sexual vedios posted on Youtube by asking you about the reasons that have led you to type Bnat or whatever on Youtube. I assure you that the image of Morocco does not need the oppression of sexual acts to be cleaned, because everything is clear and unveiled.
    I think that it becomes a present necessity to recognize people’s individual freedom and to keep arresting people for kissing or exercising their rights to express love is no longer de rigueur. Everday, in the streets, we hear people insulting, fighting, destroying, and stealing, and nobody says, “this is not decency that we are known for.” Mind you, what about prostitution which involve using a woman as an obeject?

    Personally speaking, I think that our focus should not be punishing people for sexul behaviours, but rather we should whole-heartedly focus on producing human beings and good citizens and the rationally regulated sexual behaviours shall be solved as a result.

    • Larbi Arbaoui

      Rachid, I can’t agree more. Yet, individual freedom was always a thorny philosophical concept we have to carefully advocate.

      • Hayat Ngabi

        I don’t care about philosophy yet I do believe I cannot apply everything I watch on movies, We’re muslims for god’s sake, we’re loosing our principles. the authorities were right in taking action, as sending a sign to others not to do any similar thing in public, there is a generation growing up and for this the authorities are trying to bring it up properly, though the wages of chage occuring in society.

  • Wissam

    I strongly think that they have to be punished in order to learn them a lesson as well as to learn those teenagers who behave freely like they are in Europe.Morroco Is a muslim Country we don’t allow those things to happen here.We are more preservative.If they want to do something at least they should lurk in a secret place..How a shame to do those sinful things in a public place.They have to respect other people..I am not allowing doing sex in a private place however it’s better to hide your sins than to announce them.

    • Larbi Arbaoui

      Wissam, accepting something -we denounce openly- to be done in secret is obviously what I meant by social hypocrisy. Education is the key to approach socially unaccepted behaviours. Punitive approach may worsen the issue. Thanks for reading and commenting on my piece!!

  • Moroccan

    Interesting how this society works. Prostitution is by now means shut down, but these teenagers who barely know how to wipe out their shit will be pursued and thrown in jail for being reckless on facebook? Humm… Good logic peeps, good logic, keep it up!

    • Larbi Arbaoui

      You made me laugh. Your funny way of approaching the topic has a seed of wisdom!!!

    • X

      I don’t think you have the right to throw insulting words about the couple. What does “Wipe their shit out stand for?

    • Hind

      I don’t agree with you. Because prostitution or other bad behavior exist in Morocco it doesn’t make it oke for teenagers and other people to misbehave like this. Another wrong doesn’t make a right. It just shows that we have a lot more problems in Morocco than kissing teenagers that should also be addressed and handled. However, I am not agreeing that these kids should be thrown in jail but it is a good warning for them and other people. And people campaigning to freely kiss in public and stimulating the youth to do so, is not the answer at all!

      • Michael Ricker

        It isn’t misbehavior. It’s natural. Good lord your country is backwards.

        The point @812dbe195020f6470106cf596ae4fd82:disqus was making shows that the people of Morocco are complete hypocrites. Prostitution is far more dangerous, but thrives. That either shows that people there don’t have a problem with sex as long as they’re doing it or that the government is incompetent. Given the fact that your people put children in jail over something that nearly everyone on earth does at some point, I’m gonna say it’s a combination of both.

  • Chakiri

    Mr. Larbi, thank u for highlighting this issue to the public. I really recommend our authorities to stand hand in hand and take punitive actions to all violators, such as prostitutes, drug sellers

  • Anonymous

    Hello all,

    Having read the author’s concise article along with the comments shared afterwards, I felt myself compelled; either out of national belonging, cultural homogeneity and religious affinity or for some any other external reasons, to contribute my viewpoints with respect to such an issue which has engendered and still engenders interesting discussions.

    My message in fact is very straightforward and it is aimed at whoever attempts to sympathise or console with the arrested so-called teenagers. There are many homeless children and teens who make out of streets, street-corners and trash/garbage zones a better place for them to live and eat. Have these people, notwithstanding their intentions, ever considered collaborating with or living for some days in the streets under life pressure or under the same conditions? Have they ever tried to feed on the stinky, smelly and disgusting food which is the sole mean of nutrition for the homeless. If there is anybody whom people should sympathise with, then of course it nonethless should be these people without shelter. It is even awkward to claim that once we engage in Public Kiss-ins, then we are paving the way for more democracy and freedom to spread.

    Perhaps I will conclude with this verse taken from the Qoran

    Al-Nur Chapter 24 : Verse 20

    “Those who love that immorality should spread among the believers, will have a painful punishment in this world and the Hereafter. And Allah knows, and you
    know not”

  • diwani

    if you kiss in public,you may be put behind the bars.paradoxically, brothels are whrvr you go in mrcco is not it paradoxical ?

  • Guest

    Seriously people: how is this more shamefull/sinnfull/harmfull/on-islamic then open behaviour of harrasments, steeling, disrespect, corruption, … etc. Why this selective disapproval and outrange? I seriously don’t understand

  • Assya

    The hypocrisy in the Moroccan society never ceases to amaze me.
    “Two teens posting a kiss photo, what a crime…we’re a Muslim country for God’s sake!” says the Moroccan guy right before he heads out to buy some booze in Marjan and pick up his girlfriend for a fun night in his “pritcha”
    I read through the comments here, and was overall pleased by the opinions expressed without any bad language, for that Kudos to everyone! Since usually on such controversial topics, there’s much e-confrontation and foul language.
    “Someone said she didn’t care about philosophy and that she knows she can’t apply everything she sees on movies!” the question is: do you wish to? but are afraid of being judged? People should stop living two lives, it’s agonizing to lie to others, and even worse to lie to oneself. Moroccans should know that whatever can’t be done in public, will definitely find a way in private secrecy. I am not speaking about everyone, but no two people can disagree that most Moroccans do have/had romantic lives they can’t disclose to their family, and at times, to nobody.
    As an optimist, I’d like to believe that everything happens for a good reason, and so was this “Free Kiss”, makes people think, face the taboos, discuss, and improve.
    After all, all good citizens want their country to move forward in a healthy, safe, and honest way.

  • Louise

    Great article, in a society where prostitution is rife and accepted this hypocrisy of arresting two young people disgusts me and I am sure confuses most. look afetr your young woman who are selling themselves every day of the wee infront of your eyes, teach your men how to respect woman. this will have much more valuable long term effects on a struggling society than arresting two young people for kissing.

  • Larbi Arbaoui

    I would like to thank all the readers who have contributed to this story by their insightful comments. Regardless of the view they communicated, all the comments were serious and to the point.

  • jimmy

    come on guys!!! the media has made of this silly thing a big issue. there are dozens of video clips on youtube showing “real” sex and and even porn of Moroccan teenagers and nobody ever noticed. if we really wanna address this in the best ways, let’s just ignore it and teach our adults how to behave before we judge kids for their immitations. besides, this country has always been proud of diversity and differences. why should we try to punish someone only coz he ain’t believe in what we believe in then. that era of cattles is gone forever.

  • X

    Unfortunatly we live in a society where a kiss is taken as an act that is imoral while we see people taking out their penises out in streets and urinating on public walls and say nothing. Who claims or argues that displying kisses in public is imoral should walk near by night clubs at night and see whet happens every night by rich and people from the gulf in order to have a real stand.

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