Rabat - Moroccan poet and author Tahar Ben Jelloun wrote an article in French Magazine Le Point on Sunday, evaluating the results of Morocco’s legislative elections held last Friday, October 7th.
Rabat – Moroccan poet and author Tahar Ben Jelloun wrote an article in French Magazine Le Point on Sunday, evaluating the results of Morocco’s legislative elections held last Friday, October 7th.
Jelloun said that “the Justice and Development Party’s (PJD) victory is a slap [in the face] for the traditional parties due to their failure to address the people.”
He went on to add, “Although the PJD’s efforts over the past five years have not been effective, the PJD won the elections by virtue of its populist and demagogue discourse, that enable Moroccans as a whole to understand what Islamist leaders say, unlike leftist parties such as the Socialist Union of Popular Forces (USFP), which only managed to secure 20 seats in the elections.”
Jelloun continued by analyzing politics’ affiliation with religion. He believes that “there are no moderate Islamists, since General Secretary of the PJD, Abdelilah Benkirane lauded in one of his speeches thirteenth century theologian Ibn Taymyyia, who opposed rationalist philosophers, such as Al-Ghazali and Ibn Arabi and considered them disbelievers.”
Jelloun explained that the PJD’s discourse is built on two major levels: “The first one is associated with clarity, moral hygiene, justice and faith, while the second level is deeper than ideology.”
He then went on to analyze why there are no moderate Islamists; he said, “The PJD supported Hammad Kabbaj by endorsing him to head the PJD’s constituency list in Marrakech.”
Jelloun expressed the view that “Moroccan people are attached to Islam. And it is therefore easy for a political party to address people using religious discourse, unlike the leftist parties.”
With respect to the political position of the PJD since 2011, Jelloun said that, “Despite the PJD’s poor performance, its attachment to fanatical Islam, and recurrent attacks against the Interior Ministry, many people cast their vote for the party. This proves how the Islamization of political discourse is profitable.”
He concluded his piece with ideas for the development of the various socio-economic and political fields in Morocco:
“Morocco needs reforms, social justice, a rigorous educational policy and efficient health system . . . . Everyone knows that without the great work of the King Mohammed VI, Morocco would not develop,” Ben Jelloun said. “The King [advocates] modernity and openness.”