By Bilal El Omari
By Bilal El Omari
Morocco World News
Rabat, Ausgut 8, 2013
Tensions seem to be calming down after the king annulled his pardon to the Spanish citizen who raped 11 Moroccan kids. At first glance, it seems that the disappearance of tensions will bring all things to how they were before. But things are not that simple. This is far from being a plane juridical event, or even a democracy related case. I mean let’s call things by what they are: the king admitted to having omitted something.
The fact that the decision is historical, however, does not make its antecedent events any less so. Let’s look into three elements concerning this whole case that make it exceptional.
Public discontent targeted the royal institution
It is arguably the first time in King Mohamed IV’s reign that questions were directly aimed at his person. Prior movements that brought people to the streets never mentioned the King as a source of any dissatisfaction. Unlike other Arab countries in which demands concerned specific leaders or institutions, movements in Morocco have been themed solely against the broad concept of “corruption. Criticizing the king remained a red line that no one had crossed.
An interesting note however is that if we take for example the 20 February marches, the really big ones were never met with any violence. While almost each and every walk against the royal pardon from Rabat to Nador was met with police brutality. Makes you think about how 20 February would have turned out had they started by criticized the King.
The historical significance of this audacity to make the King responsible of something (because it took a lot of audacity), is simply opening this possibility.
A royal action was rectified
I remember Rachid Nini quoting late King Hassan II in repeating that he only made one mistake in his lifetime, and it was trusting Oufkir. Kings have rarely admitted to making mistakes, and even more rarely gone back on decisions. In retrospect, all those who disagreed with an action taken by the king –the royal pardon, were merely supportive of him.
This will open the door for all critiques aimed at The Royal Institution, and give them the legitimacy of resembling the Daniel Case. Freedom of speech partisans should –technically- rejoice to this news!
People detached themselves from all forms of politics
Did you notice how the movement was neither organized nor endorsed by any political stakeholder? People literally just resembled on Social Networks united by their anger against the royal pardon and decided they wanted to protest. And as the movement developed, all politicians (even Shabat and Benkiran, surprise!) included cameras and audio recorders to their things not to do in Ramadan, not giving any statements or showing support. Actually, even journalists ran away from their own cameras and recorders (with the exception of Lakom). Not to mention NGOs, celebrities, etc; who not long ago marched against pedophilia but did not adhere to it this time. Mind you that this case could not get any simpler: a man raped 11 kids and was freed – it doesn’t take that much common sense to realize that being against it is the right thing to do!
This represents the most visible manifestation yet of the immense political gap in Morocco. No political parties or even movements are representing the public. The concerns, opinions and will of the people are drifting far away from everything that the political scene is offering.
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Morocco World News’ editorial policy
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