Rabat - Prominent Kuwaiti businessman and Muslim scholar Tariq Al-Suwaidan has been quoted as saying publicly, “French language is useless and a waste of time.”
Rabat – Prominent Kuwaiti businessman and Muslim scholar Tariq Al-Suwaidan has been quoted as saying publicly, “French language is useless and a waste of time.”
During a lecture organized last week in Temara by the advocacy part of the current ruling party in Morocco, the Party of Justice and Development (PJD), Al-Suwaidan said, “I am serious, French is not the language of tourism, science and civilization. France is a backward country in terms of administration.”
While delivering his lecture, entitled “Youth and the Question of Cultural Revival,” Al-Suwaidan sought to prove his argument by adding, “Take, for example, the strategic planning; the 13 main ways of strategic planning are 100% Americans.”
In an attempt to advise the audience to prioritize English as their second language, Al-Suwaidan said, “Today, the language of science is English – keep it in your minds.”
Comparing Arabic with English throughout history, Al-Suwaidan stressed, “I see proof that Arabic was the historic language of science, however, the current [leading] language of science and tourism is English,” noting that “80% of scientific researches in every field are released [and conducted] in English and the 20% of [researches are conducted] in other different languages.”
“French ranks as the 16th most widely spoken language. So, it is useless in the fields of tourism, science and civilization,” he said.
In continuing remarks, Al-Suwaidan urged Moroccans to free themselves from the hegemony of the French language even as a part of Morocco’s history.
“[I think], according to your history and the dominance of the francophone [culture], which you have to get rid of it – you are still attached to French [language]. We need to break this barrier, because it is useless. [Please] pay to attention to this and learn English.”
Over the past years, the issue of English has become controversial. Following the video of Al-Suwaidain’s lecture, widely shared on social media; Moroccans have found themselves facing a dilemma. Should they adopt English as a second language or maintain French as the status quo?
According to a 2015 survey, conducted by news website Hespress, 85.98% of Moroccans want to replace French with English as the country’s first foreign language.
In the same year, High Commission for Planning, (HCP), announced that according to the result of the Sixth General Census of Population and Housing (RGPH 2014), 18.3 percent of Moroccans now speak English, compared to 66 percent of Moroccans who speak French.
Edited by Constance Connie