By Omar Bihmidine
By Omar Bihmidine
Morocco World News
Tangier, August 4, 2013
Personally, I learn best by watching scenes, by seeing the reality exposed before me, and by believing actions rather than words. I do not, for instance, listen to the king’s speech on Throne day or on any other occasions for the simple reason that I did it several times and it usually ended up dashing my expectations.
I do not believe Abdelilah Benkirane, Morocco’s head of government, when he reiterates that Morocco is the country of the rule of law. I do not believe either the fact that Morocco is on the path towards democracy as many believe, for whenever we dwell on this fact, an incident suddenly crops up and disproves what we say.
No sooner had king Mohammed VI granted the royal pardon to Daniel Galvan, the Spanish rapist of 11 Moroccan children, than Moroccans felt outraged by the injustice and moved to harshly condemn the pardon. The news which instantly spread across the world has unveiled the reality of the democracy that some of us, including politicians, have hailed and that of the commonly-quoted fact that Morocco is a rule of law. In all frankness, even simple acts and events in our country reveal the truth about our government, let alone scandalous incidents.
We have never heard of a rapist of 11 children, one of whom is a 5-year-old girl, receiving a pardon in the world’s democracies. We have never heard of a country, which prides itself on abiding by law, of a royal or executive pardon for a human beast, a pedophile. Whereas democratic countries give inestimable value to their societies by punishing anyone trying to rape their citizens, Morocco is doing its utmost to gain flattery from Spain by releasing Spanish criminals, even to the detriment of Moroccan citizens.
Spanish favor, for the monarchy, is more important than Moroccans’ favor. What image of our country have we given the world if our leaders give the green light to a pedophile to escape a 30-year sentence? Is it an image of respect for citizens? In April 2012, the Spanish monarch apologized to its people for a controversial trip he made to Botsuana , but the Moroccan king does not dare apologize to the parents of the victims for his royal pardon. Is King Mohammed VI too holy to admit to his mistakes? If yes, then he is aggravating the status quo, for refusing to apologize will distort his reputation as the king of the poor, of the destitute and of the marginalized.
Not admitting to the ‘mistake’ and rectifying it will only add insult to injury to the current situation of outrage. How do you expect Moroccans to continue to love their king if he pardons foreigners?? How do we want Moroccans to respect a constitution that grants the king the right to pardon rapists whether they are foreigners or Moroccans? Dispersing and stifling peaceful demonstrations and sit-ins against the royal pardon is giving us the impression that protesters are wrong, while the royal palace is right as far as the decision to pardon the rapist is concerned.
All Abdelilah Benkirane and other politicians’ speeches on the inalienable right to take to the street peacefully have proved to be lies now that peaceful protesters have been beaten and caned. Instead of responding to the scandal that is quickly tarnishing the image of the so-called most beautiful country of the world, the Moroccan government has retreated into deafening silence. How do we expect Moroccans to be proud of their nation if they are not respected as citizens? Moroccans have dignity. Forgiving their rapists is an unforgivable blow to their dignity.
Meanwhile, the scandalous event has revealed the hypocrisy of some politicians and sheikhs. Abdelilah Benkirane is silent over the issue despite the fact that he has always promised to speak out against the phenomenon of rape and to take action against anyone doing an injustice to Moroccan citizens. Mustapha Ramid, Minister of Justice tried to find flimsy excuses to the decision to pardon Daniel, despite the fact that he has always bombarded our heads with justice, justice and justice. Is pardoning rapists a justice? Is imprisoning those who condemn pardoning rapists a justice?
Where are the Sheikhs who deliver speeches about condemning evil? They are all silent despite the fact that pardoning rapists is unfounded in Islam. They are silent even though Islam asks us to change evil. They are silent even if they continue to impress on us during their speeches that all people are equal in front of justice and that raping children is an unforgivable crime. It is a pity this “international shame” has brought about ignominy for all Moroccan families.
Upon the release of human beast Daniel Galvan, we must empathize with the families of the victims. We must calm them down by carrying on protesting against the royal pardon until the criminal is brought back to justice or judged in Spain. Otherwise, we would end up seeking our king’s favor all the time, even at the expense of our children’s lives. We must bring about a change even if this necessitates criticizing the king. On the contrary, protesting against the royal decisions, the government must bear in mind, is a clear sign of democracy that will benefit the Moroccan monarch himself.
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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