By Omar Bihmidine
By Omar Bihmidine
Morocco World News
Sidi Ifni, March 3, 2012
If Abdelbari Zemzemi, the so-called Muslim Sheikh, is really among the beneficiaries of the licensees granted, I call on all my fellow Moroccans to never listen to him again. As I know, a Sheikh in the right sense of the word is the one who mingles with, and defends, the poor, not the one who shares the same table with the corrupt. If what I’ve read is true, my decision is that this man is a real hypocrite. And you very well know the place of hypocrites is hell.
It is true that many other ministers and senior officials have also been discovered to own licenses of different facilities, like the monopoly on the use of transport. But the case of Zemzemi is totally different in that it has shocked many Moroccans for the simple reason that this Sheikh who should have instead criticized this act on the part of the corrupt have turned out to be among them. According to Islamic teaching, we are advised not to listen to his fatwas.
The case of Zemzemi reminds me of the saying: Sheikhs ask us to do what they order and not to do what they do. Zememi falls into this category of Sheikhs. Many poor people follow what he orders, but they don’t do what he has done, procure a license. We may not be shocked by the reasons ministers and officials give for obtaining licenses, because they are not expected to teach Moroccans noble things. However, the excuses Zemzemi is going to offer will never be convincing. Moroccans know a real Sheikh is the one who teaches about sacrifice, love of the poor, the danger of monopoly, etc.
Gone are the days when Sheikh Abdelhamid Kichk used to criticize such sorts of Sheikhs who love their king and offer him any fatwas he likes. These Sheikhs even stand by the king at the cost of the poor and come up with fatwas that say that the king is to be respected at all costs. No doubt Zemzemi is among them. If this man really cared about the poor, he would have suggested that his license be given to the needy. If this man was a principled Muslim Sheikh, he would not accept a license he didn’t deserve, particularly because several of the fatwas he has issued so far have met with disdain and criticism.
Nobody can deny that there are many people who better merit the license he received for the simple reason that the man is rich enough. He is supposed to do his job for the sake of Allah, and he is already paid for his work anyway. He very well knows that no matter how much he has done for Morocco, there are still people who are in greater need. He also knows that having the license is forbidden at a time when a number of Moroccans suffer from serious social ills, including poverty, and what he has done is a form of exploitation, especially during this critical period.
There are several reasons why Moroccans should boycott his speeches. One of them is that the so-called Sheikh is aware of the others who have licenses too, but he has chosen to keep his lips sealed. Instead, he criticizes the protesters who occasionally take to the streets, Another reason is that he lately issued weird and questionable fatwas, such as that of making love to one’s dead wife. It is well known that Sheikhs shouldn’t get licenses, because Morocco as a developing country doesn’t make progress through fatwas.
Nearly every Moroccan knows that Morocco is corrupt. But not everyone knows that those who are supposed to fight corruption are themselves corrupt. The case of Zemzemi is a case in point. There is no purpose in revealing the injustices of Moroccan senior officials because everyone is now acutely aware of them. Solutions, how to put an end to this, must be and raised discussed. But, once more, the case of Zemzemi is totally different in that it is sheer hypocrisy to find out that the man Moroccans esteem has turned out to be ignoble in practice.
The conclusion I came to the minute I read that Zemzemi is among the list of beneficiaries is that I shouldn’t have been surprise because this Sheikh once vehemently supported the previous corrupt government. Now, I clearly understand why he has held that view. It is simply because the corrupt government was the reason why he had his license.
Edited by Jasmine Davey
Omar Bihmidine is high school teacher of English. He obtained his Associate Degree at Choaib Eddoukali University in 2008. His writings take the form of short stories, poems and articles, many of which have been published in Sous Pens magazine, in the ALC magazine in Agadir, and in the late Casablanca analyst newspaper.
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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