By Jamal Saidi
By Jamal Saidi
Morocco World News
Casablanca, July 12, 2012
Bassima Hakkaoui, the minister of Solidarity, Women, Family and Social Development, recently appeared on “Bila Hodod” a television show that also means without borders on Al Jazeera. The minster answered questions on three main points: her relationship with the media, homeless children and the sexual freedom issue. The 50-minute program was broadcasted yesterday.
In the interview, the minister acknowledged that her relationship with the press has strained since she became a minister in Benkiran’s government. She stressed that some journalists accused her unjustifiably and without any logical reasoning.
The minister also said that she was being wrongly quoted regarding numerous issues. She explained that she became the focus of attention because of being the first veiled minister–the only woman in the government–as well as her PJD political affiliation and her being in charge of a ministry which is of the highest concern to the Moroccan people.
The minister continued that there has been an increase in the number of homeless children, so much so that children now constitute 38 percent of the homeless population. She showed her determination to continue fighting this phenomenon. In a bid to identify some sources of this social problem, she emphasized that many children who live in the surrounding areas of Casablanca would come to watch football matches and eventually find themselves lost in the city.
In regards the issue of sexual freedom–which seems to have occupied very significant portion of the current debate in the country–the journalist showed surprise at the widespread call for sexual freedom in Morocco. She was taken aback because Morocco is a Muslim Country whose king is being referred to as Amir Almouminin or the “Commander of the faithful.” In response to the question, the minister said that Laghzioui’s statements have nothing to do with the identity of the country or the title of the king. Those statements, she continued, concerned Mr. Laghzioui only, and they are of no concern to the Moroccan people. She stressed that extremism is not accepted, be it of those who restrict freedoms or those who publicly attack Moroccans’ religious and societal values.