Op-ed

Korean Rice and Its Economic Lessons for Morocco

Toronto - Let me start by clarifying some of the confusion this article’s title may create. What follows is not policy advice for Moroccans to substitute rice for wheat as their diet staple! Rather, the topic covers the economic part of political economy, my other passion. Nobel laureate economist Joseph Stiglitz, a true Keynesian, once warned against neo-conservative policy advice for developing nations; n ...

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ISIS: More Is to Be Expected … Worse

Rabat - When it comes to ISIS, the fatal mistake many make is trying to find reason or explanation of its violence or even consistency in its actions. There is no sense to be made of their thoughts, logic, culture, morals, values, feelings, emotions, or the human perspective. Out of their framework of reference, they have created their history as latent violence, destruction, and revenge upon civilization, ...

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How to Plant Morocco’s Billion Trees

Marrakech - Now is the planting season.  As the Moroccan people do the best they can to plant trees and herbs that will enhance their future and bring food security, it is also worth asking a question. How can farming families plant, adding value to their product according to their potential, thus overcoming subsistence practices that trap them in poverty? The good news is that the practical elements of a s ...

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The Moroccan Legislative Circus (Part 3)

Rabat - Parliament mannerism and language use Customarily, parliamentarians address each other using expressions of respect such as: "right honorable member of parliament..."  "If you allow me dear sir, I disagree totally with what you said sir…," "with all due respect sir, I would like to point out the following, esteemed sir…," because they represent the essence of the nation, whereby constructive disagre ...

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A Machiavellian Prince in the Making (Part 2 of 4)

The Princetonian Prince Niagara Falls - As I posited in my last piece, my critical views of Prince Hicham are not directed against the message he conveys.  In fact, up until I read his “Diaries of a Banished Prince,” I held a favorable opinion of the man and his views. Unlike the staunchest monarchists who shoot both message and messenger indiscriminately, I try to view the topic at hand from a democrat’s p ...

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Reflections on Spiritual Development: Is My Islam True?

New York - “God Does Not Change People’s Condition unless They Change Their Inner Selves.” (Quran 13:11) Recently, I have been doing a lot of self-evaluation. As part of this process, I decided to go through my old journals to gain clarity on certain issues and review my life goals. I wanted to check if I am on the right path and to verify if my intentions are sincere. I often think of Prophet Muhammad’s (P ...

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Western Sahara: Is Christopher Ross Wasting Everyone’s Time?

By Majid Morcili San Francisco - Christopher Ross just finished his tour to the region and one thing is sure; he will no longer be allowed to flirt with plans outside the scope for his mission for two important reasons. 1- The UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon gave the king of Morocco "firm assurances as to the neutrality, objectivity, and impartiality of UN officials" in the issue of what’s called the Weste ...

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How Long is History According to Islam?

Kenitra - My previous article ‘The First People’ hints at the idea that history of mankind is longer than what people generally assume. Some readers and friends have pointed out that history cannot be more than 6,000 years old. This view is inconsistent with the NASA estimation for the astronomical cycle of the vernal equinox precession that lasts 25,800 years and which had been observed in the remote past. ...

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The Moroccan Legislative Circus (Part 2)

Rabat - Are political parties, political parties? During Hassan II’s long reign, the period extending from 1970 to 1996 was known as sanawat rasas "the Lead Years" because of the fierce repression exerted on the left and far left opposition, starting with the physical liquidation of the Union Nationale des Forces Populaires (UNFP) leader Ben Barka and moving on to the incarceration of all political opponent ...

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Trying to Understand does Not Mean to Condone or to Tolerate

Rabat - There is no discussion of the basics. Murder is murder, manslaughter is manslaughter, and terrorism is terrorism, wherever they are committed and regardless of who victim and perpetrator are and in which or whose name they are committed. They call for the same condemnation. A human being is a human being wherever she or he is. A victim is a victim whatever her or his nationality or religion. They al ...

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Understanding Salafism (part II): The Specificities of the Salafist Doctrine

Casablanca - The Quran in Salafism, as is the case for all the Islamist movements, is the primary source of doctrine. Numerous disciplines, such us Arabic linguistics, are employed to develop a more rigorous understanding of the Quran. The second most crucial source is the prophetic Sunnah, which must be rectified by the Muslim scholars. The Ijmaa comes third in the classification of the doctrinal sources, ...

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Chapel Hill Shooting: Viewed by an American Studying in Morocco

Rabat - In the past several days, news of the Chapel Hill shooting has quickly spread as the story evolved. On the evening of February 10th, Craig Stephen Hicks killed Deah Shaddy Barakat, 23, his wife Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha, 21, and Abu-Salha’s sister, Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, 19. They were in their home when he entered and shot them execution-style. All three university students were active in promotin ...

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