Op-ed

Cultural Diversity in the Electoral Programs

Rabat - There is hardly any "program" that does not include an entry about culture. For some reason, however, most give the impression that culture is limited to "spaces" in which youth can express themselves through a limited number of performance art forms, specifically, theatre, singing and the plastic arts. None talks of dancing, for instance. Very few addressed museums, archeology and the conservation ...

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Morocco’s Communal Elections: Inside The Campaign

Rabat - In the talks of the canvassing regiments, contenders are vilified and rarely criticized. They are corrupt, embezzlers, traitors, incompetent, dishonest and have vested interests in running for public office. Servicing the community is the least of their priorities. Rarely has the discourse of opponents been analyzed methodically and systematically. At best, impressionistic and passionate accounts of ...

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Aspects of an Electoral Campaign

Rabat - Political parties in Morocco have been analyzed thoroughly by many a specialist. Every new political situation, internal to the party or of a national, regional or local character, is a new opportunity to verify the validity of these analyses. The election of the leadership of youth and women's organizations of these parties as well as appointing candidates to various constituencies confirm, for exa ...

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What about Fundamentalism?

Rabat - A frequently asked question raised in our discussions is related to fundamentalism. Participants want to know what it is, its origins, its various manifestations, what people here (in Morocco) think about it, how to eradicate it, etc. In many of our discussions, it appeared that the concept "fundamentalism" did not mean the same thing to everyone. In all cases, however, the concept seemed to refer t ...

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Security, Rule of Law, and Energy: Three Eggs in the Same Basket

Luxembourg - On March 2, 2015, Kosmos Energy released a statement that its CB-1 exploration well, located in Cap Boujdour offshore of the Moroccan desert, tapped 46 feet of gas and condensate reservoirs. The discovery, however, did not amount to commercial and quality levels, and therefore the oil operator decided to plug and abandon the well. That was, by no means, surprising news. It was just the latest i ...

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Let Us Not Waste Islam

New York - When I became a Muslim two and a half years ago, my primary reasons for embracing Islam were the light, strength, and guidance I felt this path would give me. The fragments of knowledge I had been acquiring over the years suddenly merged, forming a full picture of Islam that was impossible to reject. Without conscious effort, at some point, everything I had been reading and learning came together ...

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Isgar and Ritual Domination in the High Atlas

El Jadida - Rachik (1990) has focused on sacrifice rituals known in the High Atlas as ma?ruf (sadaqa/ charity), sacrificial banquet offered to God in mosques, to saints in shrines or to spirits nearby stones. Ma?ruf mediates between the dead and the living. It also implicates the collective that takes part in the sacrificial offering. Rachik has distinguished between private and collective sacrificial offer ...

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Myanmar Buddhists and Ethnic Cleansing of Rohingya Muslims

Rabat - A few months ago, I wrote a note on the savagery with which minority Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar are treated at the hands of their countrymen and countrywomen. What I did not address at the time was the manipulation of the Buddhist religious institution and its monks as part of the cleansing operation so as not to jeopardize ongoing peaceful but ineffective attempts to ameliorate the situation Durin ...

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Categorizing Islamic Extremism

Warning: For the purposes of this report, which is pedagogical in essence and which is addressed to readers who do not necessarily need to go into historical details, the issue of categorizing what is commonly referred to as Islamic extremism has been oversimplified. Although it is not the purpose of this report to situate what is referred to as Islamic extremism within the global and international revival ...

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Bouteflika: The End Is Near

By Majid Morcili San Francisco - Imagine for a moment you are Algeria's Bouteflika, waking up every morning to the news that oil prices are still taking a beating. They have plunged 65 percent in about a year, and during that same year, you were distributing out freebies to your cronies, keeping the masses calm by showering them with free housing, government jobs, and even loans that you know ahead of time ...

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A Million Dollar Project: Islamophobia

Istanbul - In the wake of the September 11th Attacks, there has been a notable increase in the prejudiced and discriminative demeanor of the Western world against Muslims stemming from the antagonism rising against Islam in Europe and the USA. Based on this bias and partiality, it is a sad fact that the Islamic communities living in the West encounter a good deal of adversity and distress both in their soci ...

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Tolerance and Beyond Tolerance!

Rabat - This section is to be read as a synthetic report by the author of a number of seminars on the issue of tolerance which were attended by participants from different backgrounds. An idea which seems to be always lurking in the minds of the participants is that Islam is not tolerant. When the issue comes out, I try to orient the discussion first to understanding what is meant by tolerance. I, of course ...

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