By Jamal Saidi
By Jamal Saidi
Morocco World News
Casablanca, July 11, 2012
On July 30th, Morocco will celebrate the thirteenth anniversary of King Mohammed VI’s enthronement. Four Ministers of the Islamist-led government find themselves in an embarrassing situation due to their previous stance on bowing protocol during the annual celebration.
Saad Eddine Alotmani, Lahbib Chobani, Moustapha Ramid and Najib Bolif signed a document on March 31, 2011 demanding the abolition of “all ceremonies, traditions and rituals that are perceived to be as humiliating and degrading to the human dignity.” The petition entitled “The Change that We Want” was signed by some activists, politicians, journalists and former political detainees.
The annual ceremony of allegiance embodied in the “Bayaa” (Allegiance ceremony) is a century-old tradition. During this ceremony Moroccan Ministers and other officials renew their allegiance to the king.
Mohamed Daadaoui, a professor and the author of Moroccan Monarchy and the Islamist Challenge : Maintaining Makhzen Power depicts the Bayaa ceremony as follow:
“the most ostentatious of the monarchy’s traditional displays. Commemorating the king’s enthronement, Bayaa features the pomp of a medieval pledge (…) government officials (along with state and local representatives) line up before the gates of the royal palace. The gates open and the king appears wearing the traditional white djellaba and passes amid the crowds of officials and dignitaries who bow three times before him in a show of allegiance and shout, “Our Lord bestows his blessing on you!”