Morocco World News
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, December 15, 2012
I hesitated to write on the stereotypes that have been propagated on Imazighn in Morocco because of some personal reasons. To avoid any misreading of this text, I should make it clear that the choice of this issue is very much motivated by humane impulses more than racial ones. It is hoped that this work will contribute to correct some notorious images circulated on Imazighn (Amazigh) in Morocco.
In a parliamentary debate broadcasted on Moroccan TV, one of the representatives expressed his racist attitudes against Imazighn. This representative, who represents nothing but his greed, was courageous enough to say, I quote, “that an area in Rabat now is useful only for some Chlah (Amazigh) to set up shops.”
Simply put, he alluded to the assumption that all Imazighn are by definition salesmen. By the way, there is no harm in being a shop seller. But what the “gentlemen” said mirrors his exclusionist and racist views towards Imazighn. His statement is not surprising to anyone so long as we know that decision-makers are the first ones who create this rift between Moroccan people. The French ruled Morocco by creating division between people, and this man is putting his feet in their shoes now.
This parliamentary member is not, however, the only one who has referred to Imazighn as salesmen. In a similar context, we see on social networks such as Facebook some racist expressions as this one: “what do you call the salesman in your neighborhood”. Most of those who comment tend to say we call him Brahim, Hmad, and other similar names that refer, by implication, to “Sousi”, the salesman.
One cannot deny that many of them do this job. Yet, what cannot be accepted is when such label is used to downgrade and strip the dignity of Imazighn. I am sure that Hmad Sousi and the like take pride in being salesmen rather than being parliamentary representatives who seeks only wealth and fame.
In a nutshell, difference is an inherent aspect within cultures. Tolerance and respect of such difference constitute the best way to evade any conflict between cultures. Ignorance was considered a long time ago as one of the main factors that elicit racist stereotypes. Such social manifestation diminished throughout history as Man made great progress in life in general. Yet, despite this civilizational progress, some people still tell jokes about others. Does this mean that the persistence of racism stems from ignorance? But what if “enlightened or educated people” behave racially towards the other?
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Morocco World News’ editorial policy