Rabat - Human nature being what it is, it was inevitable that some Moroccan social media users decided that it would be appropriate to lash out against the victims of the Istanbul New Year’s Eve attack.
Rabat – Human nature being what it is, it was inevitable that some Moroccan social media users decided that it would be appropriate to lash out against the victims of the Istanbul New Year’s Eve attack.
And so, even as the shock of Saturday’s bloody terrorist shooting was still being absorbed and the families of the victims were just beginning to process their indescribable grief, social media messages took on a dark tone.
Indeed, consoling messages of solidarity and sympathy soon turned to ones of hate and prejudice, from those who damned the victims to hell, to those who wished for a new holocaust to rid Morocco of any woman who dared to spend her vacations abroad. What were they doing in a nightclub in Istanbul anyway? After all, nighttime is the playground of prostitutes. Accusations that the female Moroccan victims somehow brought shame to their country began to run wild.
Beyond the shock felt by the violence of this terrorist act, there is the even more unexpected shock of the violent speech so freely used in its aftermath. The display of such comments shows a spectacular narrow mindedness. Where does hate like this come from? It’s clear that the intensity of the hate that fuels some of our people to discard their empathy and humanity in the name of exacerbating religiosity and use their self-professed purity of faith to justify terrorist actions is a form of self-imposed ignorance that is, at best, hard to understand.
How did we end up here? Is this the land we dream of? Is this the Morocco we aspire to create for our future generations? How can we build a modern, righteous and tolerant society when there are those among us only too willing to express such unabashed hatred toward each other?
We are a land of diversity and multi-culturalism. This has always been a point of national pride for Moroccans so can we really afford to accept the presence of such intolerance? Should we simply be content for these individuals to hide in the dark corners of Morocco, only revealing themselves long enough to revel in the agony of others, simply because of ideological and philosophical differences? Are we supposed to give up our individual freedoms to make room for intolerance?
How many terrorist acts should we witness before these people, who think they’re safe because they deem themselves to be “good” and “tradition-abiding” Muslims, realize that terrorism is blind; it hits everyone without any exception!
So many questions to ask at the start of a year we hope to be a peaceful one. If there is one thing we can wish for, it is that the Moroccan people will remember how to coexist as they have done for so many centuries already. We were the example of tolerance and acceptance to so many different cultures, religions and ethnicities, living peacefully alongside one another.
There is one more New Year’s wish I would like to impart and it is that those Moroccans who pretend to be the most pious among us should revisit the texts they profess to know by heart and understand… remember, Death forgets no one.