By Larbi Arbaoui
By Larbi Arbaoui
Morocco World News
Taroudant, Morocco, May 1, 2013
Prime Minister Abdelilah Benkirane took a not-so-veiled swipe at secular activist Ahmed Assid at a party rally late Saturday in Bouznika, 20 miles south of Rabat.
Speaking to the fifth youth congress of the Party of Justice and Development (PJD) held this weekend in Bouznika, Benkirane said, “If some people do not want to hear harsh words, they should respect the faith of the nation”, with reference to strong reactions previously issued against Ahmed Assid. Without mentioning Assid’s name, Benkirane insisted that respect must be accorded to the overwhelmingly Muslim country’s values.
He went on to add that “It is not reasonable to speak thus of the Messenger of God (peace be upon him), the best of men, it is not reasonable and I would not accept that.”
News outlets reported that the Amazigh researcher, Ahmed Assid, stated that “Islam is now outdated, adding that nowadays universal values are the highest values reached by humanity. He went on to say that the message of Islam taught to young people in school textbooks is a ‘terrorist’ message, evoking an Islam “spread by the sword” at the time of the prophet, during a seminar organized in Rabat by the Moroccan Association for Human Rights (AMDH).
Following the statements made by the Prime Minister, Assid condemned the way the head of the government sided with “the extremists” in their interpretation and distortion of his words. Assid told Moroccan news website Lakome that he was “surprised by the statement of the Prime Minister.
The war of words between Amazigh activists and Islamists has become more fierce since the Moroccan Salafist Hassan El Kettani announced on his Facebook page that his physical integrity was threatened by an anonymous phone call, attributing the threat to Amazighs.
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