Categories: Letters Morocco World News Opinion

Letter to the Editor: Truths and Misconceptions about Justice and Development Party

New York,

New York,

Dear Editor,

I am writing to you in response to an article I read on your news outlet last week:

Truths and misconceptions about the Party of Justice and Development

If you will publish this response, then I thank you in advance for allowing a factual answer to allegations based on opinion and a fragile attempt to distort historical events.

I certainly agree that “history is very important in the formation of reality as is in the case of the Moroccan Islamic Movements.”

The author desperately tried to convince us that Abdelilah Benkirane, Lahcen Daoudi, and Saad Dine El Otmani have no relation with Islamic youth movements. While I was awaiting a serious reference or source to the author’s allegation, I only found him referring to an unidentifiable “article” whose circumstances are very ambiguous: An interview with Driss Lachgar and Mustapha Ramid.

I am still not able to grasp what the author meant. If he means that Driss Lachgar interviewed Ramid, then I have to doubt the credibility of this claim because Driss Lachgar is not -at least by job title- a journalist who would interview others.

The author is telling us that Mustapha Ramid claims that he met Abdlekrim Moti’ before the latter “left Morocco for exile in Saudi Arabia in 1975.” While the author is questioning the possibility of Ramid’s meeting with Moti’, I would like to remind the author that:

1.     At age 13, Hassan II took part of the famous Casablanca Conference along with his father, and some of the most important world leaders (i.e Roosevelt, Churchill, and Degaule).

2.     At age 19, Hassan II went to France to officially demand the independence of Morocco.

3.     At age 18, Mohammed V became sultan of Morocco.

4.     At age 13, Idriss II became sovereign of Morocco.

Therefore, age was never a constraint for the Moroccan elite. And the fact that Mustapha Ramid made it to the government -a position that is not accessible to everyone- might be attributed to his political involvement at an early age.

I sympathize with the conclusions the author reached and excuse him for I know that he ignores several important facts:

1.     Abdelilah Benkirane joined the Shabiba in 1976.

2.     Abdelilah Benkirane was jailed for activities related to the Shabiba.

3.     Like what happens in many if not most groups that are based on a doctrine, and especially after Abdelkrim Moti’ fled the country, Abdelilah Benkirane and a few other members disassociated themselves from the Shabiba (which became organizationally weak in early 80s) and formed a new entity: Al Jama’a Al Islamia, whose leader in Casablanca was nobody but Saad Dine El Otmani.

I guess I answered the “why, again, such inconsistency” question the author posed. The author was simply not informed about the structure and history of Islamist movements in Morocco, and hence found it illogical that PJD leaders might have criticized the Shabiba -although I doubt they did to begin with.

At the end of the article, once again, the author triggers a heavy accusation against PJD leaders that they are impeding the return of Moti’. The author has yet to show us any hint -let alone proof- to his claim.

All in all dear editor, while I encourage Morocco World News’ openness, I urge you to challenge authors that seem to find Morocco World News as an outlet to accuse others without proof.


Yassine Elkaryani


Mouhsine El Ahmadi: Les Mouvements Islamistes du Maroc

Ahmed Chaarani: La Mouvance Islamiste au Maroc