By Omar Bihmidine
By Omar Bihmidine
Morocco World News
Sidi Ifni, March 4, 2012
Anyone will surely find it so queer how Sheikh Abdelbari Zemzami once forbade Moroccans to take to the street and demand their basic rights peacefully right after the king’s ninth-March speech and how he now allows himself to benefit from a transport license and courageously say that he deserves it mainly because of his issuing fatwas for Moroccans.
The crux of the matter, however, is that the Sheikh continues to pride himself on his devotion to Islamic teaching by announcing that he deserved recompense for his work. He defends his right to own a transport license, but he doesn’t defend the right of the impoverished Moroccan grassroots to benefit from it, too.
Zemzami goes on to deem what the Ministry of Transport did as random and irresponsible. Here, the question I would like to direct to the Sheikh is: what is wrong with disclosing the names of the beneficiaries even if the people concerned deserve them, let alone if they don’t?
So long as Moroccans are curious to know about the beneficiaries, it is incumbent on the government to expose to them who deserve something and who does not so that they will have faith in it. That is clearly in case the beneficiaries in question deserve them. In case they prove not deserve them, it must have been incumbent upon the Sheikh, to change this evil, ” Al Monkar” at least with his heart if he can’t do with his hand.
What is really random isn’t the disclosure of the beneficiaries as was noted by Zemzami, but rather the unfair and unequal distribution of licenses amongst Moroccans. Shouldn’t this be a compelling and sufficient reason to harshly criticize the economy of granting licenses? To our utter dismay, he put the blame on the ministry of transport rather than on the exploiting beneficiaries and harshly castigated the transport ministry, the fact that makes his excuses unconvincing and even preposterous.
What the Sheikh did brings me back to my childhood days when my mother scolded for the wrong things I did. Among the excuses I used to give my mother was that my brother did the same, too, that my fellow neighbors acted in the same wrong way, and that I wasn’t therefore the only to be beaten and caned. Almost the same thing is true of Zemzami.
Rather than putting the blame on himself and his likes, he went on to criticize the transport minister for his high salary and for taking much from the government’s economy. He also accused the current government of making Moroccans very excited about the news so as to gain their hearts. In response, great men would discuss the truth and validity of the news and also the deservedness of licenses, while Zemzami has unfortunately chosen to discuss excitement to gain as much innocence as possible.
The Sheikh is acutely aware that in Islam, no one becomes faithful until he or she loves to see their fellows benefit from the same good things. Here, the Sheikh must have forgotten that many are the Moroccans who really deserve the licenses because of their sheer poverty, and Islam, as anyone knows, gives the latter complete priority.
It is true that Zemzami support his foolish excuses by mentioning some key figures in Islam, such as the prophet’s companions. He added that at the time Omar Ibn Khatab, among several others, devoted a sum of money to those in need, like widows, orphans, homeless and senile people, etc. This is true.
Notwithstanding, the question that needs to be directed to the Sheikh is: What is the relation between what the companions did and what the corrupt government did? Aren’t the majority of the beneficiaries on the lists from rich families? To our consternation, the Sheikh who should have considered the act of granting licenses a form of exploitation and favoritism have gone on to draw an illogical analogy between the companions of that time and the beneficiaries of today, including himself, of course. No way to compare!
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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