By Omar Bihmidine
By Omar Bihmidine
Morocco World News
Sidi Ifni, Morocco, July 29, 2012
Nobody can deny that before the Party of Justice and Development, led by Abdelilah Benkirane, came to power, their motto had always been “we are here to fight against corruption.” When Moroccans went to the election booths six months ago, they elected PJD, innocently hoping that their newly elected head of Government would fight corruption, just as he promised.
Benkirane has been interviewed many times about the social ills that need reforming, but he rarely mentions the promise to put an end to corruption and bring to trial the corrupt officials. In other words, he has never given Moroccans the impression that he is taking action and giving vivid signs of fighting corruption.
As usual, to Moroccans’ utter disappointment, Abdelilah Benkirane declared on the Aljazeera program “Bila Houdoud” that he is unable to fight corruption and that the corrupt officials are forgiven on the grounds that they stop the game. Afterwards, he pointed out that his philosophy in fighting against corruption lies in that Allah would suffice to take revenge on them and that there is no use in “running after witches” as the French saying goes.
It is a grave pity that Benkirane forgot that it is Allah who ordered us to eradicate “Al Monkar” and promised to help us in doing so. Unfortunately, however, it appears that Benkirane hasn’t yet taken any serious action regarding this. So, how can Allah help Benkirane fight corruption when he turns a blind eye to it?
It would be recommendable for Benkirane to draw an analogy between his stance on fighting corruption and that of Erdogan, the Prime Minister of Turkey.
While the Prime Minister of Turkey, Recep Erdogan, believes that fighting corruption is possible and, therefore, manages to really fight it in the end, Benkirane succumbs to hidden hands and expresses his inability to stand the fight. Whereas Erdogan believed that when corruption disappears altogether, citizens will instantly find at their disposal the means and resources to bring about reforms, Benkirane tried to convince Moroccans that bringing to justice corrupt officials can spark chaos in the country.
Oddly enough, it appears that the head of the government prioritized the lives of the corrupt officials over Moroccans’. Learning about Benkirane’s philosophy leads us to justify why corruption has grown rampant in our home country. The philosophy revolves around forgiving and threatening prospective corrupt officials with punishment, nothing more.
Recently, Benkirane had recourse to the Quran to prove to Moroccans that his philosophy is the right one. Yet, the question that Benkirane must ask himself is what his government is for. Who elected him? Aren’t they the Moroccans whose main purpose is to see corruption fade away? Simply put, Moroccans elected him so that he would fight corruption, the grave ill previous governments failed to fight.
Giving up the fight will only disappoint Moroccans more. Once again, what Benkirane must bear in mind is that since he was elected, he has no other choice but to live up to the expectations of Moroccans at all costs and stop giving them a lecture about the Qur’an verses which he, unfortunately, misused. Religion is not the opium of Moroccans as Benkirane might have thought.
The conclusion we can draw now is that Benkirane still continues to delude Moroccans who are tired of hearing such flimsy excuses. He continues to convince them that corruption is not worth fighting for. What is worth fighting for, instead, is to say to the corrupt officials, “enough is enough!” It would be so naive of him to believe that by saying that, he would be able to warn prospective corrupt officials. On the contrary, he has given the carte blanche to anyone ready to embezzle the fortunes of Morocco.
At the very least, instead of disappointing Moroccans and dashing their hope that Morocco will one day be free of corruption, he should have learned from those who fought corruption, such as Erdogan. As opposed to Benkirane, Erdogan succeeded in fighting corruption once and for all, for he never believed that leniency with the corrupt is the key factor to the extinction of corruption. Still worse is that upon hearing Benkirane’s stance on corruption, the corrupt officials who have stolen Moroccan masses’ money will feel so delighted. Very probably, Benkirane’s stance will soon culminate in unwanted, unexpected consequences.
Now, a sign of the Islamist-led government’s schizophrenia is promising Moroccans something like fighting corruption before the elections and breaking the promise after the elections when Benkirane admitted that the corrupt are unsurpassed. Every Moroccan must vividly remember the mottos PJD chanted at their regular rallies and during the elections. All the mottos mainly revolve around fighting corruption.
Yet, to our consternation, corruption as a social ill hasn’t been taken seriously by PJD-led government. How many corrupt officials have been brought to justice so far? Very few! Conclusively, Benkirane has chosen the wrong approach to reform, for no country has ever moved forward without fighting corruption. Think of Italy, Britain, and France that brought to justice a number of corrupt senior ministers, let alone petty corrupt officials. With corruption still plaguing Morocco, Benkirane must never dream of a more democratic country in which he can pride himself.
Regardless of the vested interests, the crux of the matter is that Abdelilah Benkirane doesn’t think he can fight corruption. And this attitude is the worst disability on the part of the current government. They are not determined to implement their major plans, one of which is fighting corruption. Instead, Benkirane has yielded to ‘crocodiles’ and ‘devils’ when he relegated his duty of fighting this plague to Allah and uses the Qur’an to exonerate himself.
What is the use of the law if the government can not send to prison those who break it? How could Benkirane account for the fact that no one on earth is above the law? Isn’t it against the law to say that freeing the corrupt from punishment is hard to do? These are some of the questions Benkirane must have the courage to answer. He must reconsider his so-called philosophy. Here, it is worth mentioning that no country has ever moved forward with such a philosophy as that of Mr. Benkirane.
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Morocco World News’ editorial policy