Rabat - Moroccan politicians, intellectuals and civil society activists have been reacting to Donald Trump’s video footage in which the Morocco-Melilla border is deceivingly depicted as the US-Mexico borders.
Rabat – Moroccan politicians, intellectuals and civil society activists have been reacting to Donald Trump’s video footage in which the Morocco-Melilla border is deceivingly depicted as the US-Mexico borders.
While some Moroccans feel indifferent toward the footage, arguing that it does not directly affect Morocco’s foreign reputation, a number of Moroccan politicians feel uneasy about seeing the image of their country used inappropriately in the U.S. presidential campaign.
Even after the deceiving strategy used by Trump to lure Americans to vote for him, the real estate mogul camps on his position and expresses no remorse for lying in his television ad.
He claims there is nothing wrong with using the Morocco-Melilla footage, as long as it represents the reality at the US-Mexico borders.
Trump’s declarations and those of his campaign manager and special counsel pushed the wrong buttons with a number of Moroccan politicians.
Members of the Moroccan Parliament who were contacted by Morocco World News feel “this is not a way to treat an ally!” They want Morocco to be kept out of U.S. domestic policy.
“Morocco was the first country to recognize the independence of the United States. It has been a major U.S ally throughout the cold war era and in the war on terror,” MPs belonging to the Moroccan government coalition said.
“These elements should be taken into consideration; this is not a way to treat an ally!” they stressed.
Moroccan MPs also sent a message of support to the American people and believe that involving Morocco into U.S. internal problems is not acceptable.
“We respect the American people political choices, and we don’t want to be invited into U.S. domestic issues and debates,” they added.
Moroccan-American blogger and community activist, Jamal Laoudi, told Morocco World News he believes there is nothing really negative about the ad. After all, the merit of this “mistake” is that it “puts Morocco on the headlines.”
“Trump defending the mention of Morocco in his first TV ad of the 2016 presidential campaign puts Morocco in the news for a cycle or two. If one subscribes to the notion that ‘there is no such thing as bad publicity’ then it’s jubilation as far as Morocco is concerned,” Laoudi said.
However, the blogger also expressed concern that this deceit might further fuel Islamophobia and negative stereotypes in the U.S.
“One has to be careful not to feed the anti-Muslim and anti-Arab stereotypes in the United States” because it is a crucial time for America, “it is an election year after all, and a presidential one for that matter,” he added.
In painting a negative picture and assuming the images represent Moroccan migrants crossing into Spanish territory, the Trump campaign ignored the high level of cooperation that exists between Morocco and Spain for the last 10 years, which has contributed to curbing illegal immigration.
Additionally, unlike the US-Mexico border, where the majority of immigrants crossing into the U.S. are Mexican, at the Morocco-Melilla border, most undocumented immigrants are from Sub-Saharan African countries.