By Ahmed Assarrar
By Ahmed Assarrar
Morocco World News
Mekenes, Morocco, January 18, 2012
As soon as Mr. Taib Charkawi, the ex-Moroccan minister of home affairs, declared the victory of the PJD in the presidential election of November 25th, many voices have endlessly tried to demonize the Islamist party and present it as posing a threat to freedom of expression in art and media, the status of women, individual freedoms in everyday life, and even Morocco’s international relationships.
Among the first voices that espoused feelings of fear and dissatisfaction against the PJD were Mr.Taher Benjaloun, the Moroccan novelist, and Mr. Muhammad Tozi, the Moroccan sociologist. Taher Benjaloun described Mr. Benkirane, the secretary-general of the PJD and the current prime minister, as a populist and a man who spoke a double discourse. He added that Benkirane is against individual freedom, secularism, and that his party possesses no complete political program for ending corruption and bribery in Morocco. Taher Benjaloun expressed his happiness to see that the king, Muhammad VI, still holds some powers that enable him to guarantee individual freedom and human rights. He concluded his talk by demystifying that the right place of Islam is in mosques and not elsewhere.
The second voice was that of Mr. Muhammad Tozi who argued emotionally that it is indeed sad to see the king sharing powers with Islamists, bearing in mind that he does not love them. In fact, Mr. Tozi’s intervention was far from logical and far from his reputation as a well-respected Moroccan sociologist. We would have expected from Mr. Tozi a scientific analysis of the current political and social transformations rather than an impressionistic discourse, which every layman can utter in a cafe or in the street but almost not in the media.
As far as Mr. Benjaloun’s claim that Islam should be kept in mosques, I would say that it was the Moroccan people who voted for the new constitution after the king put its broad lines on March 9th not the PJD. Hence, it would have been a courageous step if Mr. Benjaloun had critiqued the Moroccan people or the king’s speech for choosing to enable a role for Islam in society, not only in mosques. Moreover, it seems pertinent to ask the question why didn’t Mr. Ben Jaloun critique the PAM, the Party of Authenticity and Modernity, for all its undemocratic violations before the coming of the so-called Arab spring? For sure, Mr. Ben Jaloun cannot answer this question, even though we would look forward to hearing his answer.
Therefore, it is safe to argue that both Mr. Benjaloun and Mr. Tozi have not given any evidence to back up their claims against the PJD and its leaders and focus mainly on their impression of what was, and still is, propagated in the Moroccan and western media about Islamic parties in general.
To conclude, my main concern in this article is not to critique some famous intellectuals for a mere criticism or to defend the PJD and its leaders, but rather to rebuke foregone discourses that are built on false premises. Discourses that try to hide behind tantalizing concepts like secularism and democracy without being democratic. Discourses which aim at decentralizing real substantial questions like: how to enforce the current government to democratically interpret and read the new constitution? The question that Dr. Muhammad Darif has always tried to communicate.
Edited by Benjamin Villanti
Ahmed Assarrar is a student of the master program “Communication in Contexts” at Moulay Ismail university in Meknes, Morocco.
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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