Rabat - Artists, filmmakers, writers, journalists and activists are refusing to see part of their population — especially its youth — taken hostage by those who have no other purpose than to turn our society to an intolerant, fundamentalist one.
Rabat – Artists, filmmakers, writers, journalists and activists are refusing to see part of their population — especially its youth — taken hostage by those who have no other purpose than to turn our society to an intolerant, fundamentalist one.
A few days after the Istanbul attack, where two Moroccans lost their lives, a petition was launched to denounce the backlash the victims received on social media.
How can we lash out at young girls for simply wanting to celebrate the new year with friends at a trendy Istanbul nightclub, and rejoice at the news of their death? And how can one regard the murderer of the Russian ambassador as a hero or a martyr?
These positions are incriminated by Moroccan law. The perpetrators must suffer the consequences of their call for hatred and their apology for terrorism. It is in this sense that journalist Narjis Rerhaye Souadka has decided to launch a petition aimed at enforcing the law against the perpetrators of this hate speech and tackling the origin of the evil that resides in a failing education system, leaving our youth vulnerable to fanaticism.
A Discarded Law
“Stop the apology for terrorism! We call for the application of the law and the urgent implementation of a system of prevention through education.” This was the demand of the women and men of the civil society, who sent an open letter to the National Human Rights Council on January 4, 2017, calling for the application of the law. “It is essential to recall that the apology for terrorist acts constitutes a crime punishable by law, in accordance with article 218-2 of the Penal Code. Consequently, we participants of this open letter strongly demand that the law be toughly applied,” the petition states.
The authors of this initiative recall the attack of the Reina discotheque in Istanbul, which once again prompted the propagation of “hateful, racist, sexist words daring to justify the death of Moroccan women by their mere presence in this location.”
The creators of the petition clearly expressed their indignation in front of so much hatred: “This is unacceptable! Stop the silence. Stop the complacency in the face of such abuse. It is time that the civil society, the people who are in search of peace and common sense, to refuse to see part of its population, and in particular its youth, hostage of those who have no other purpose other than to “Daechise” the spirits of people!”
A Failing Education System
Launched by the journalist and writer Narjiss Rerhaye and the founder of the “Marocains Pluriels” association, Ahmed Ghayat, this petition calls on citizens to react to this flood of hatred. In their open letter shared on Facebook, they wrote: “The ignominy has made its way to social networks, where publications and comments advocating terrorist acts and inciting terrorism have grown into a nauseating torrent, carrying away all of humanity in its path. Incitement to hatred and violence, of course, did not wait for the birth of the web to gangrene spirits and arm those wanting to perpetrate it, but the Internet has increased hatred’s impact and has broken barriers.”
For Rerhaye, it is the entire educational system that is to be reviewed. She refers particularly to textbooks that condemn philosophy, presenting it as an impious matter that positions itself against Islam. The display of hatred we’ve seen, she says, puts into question the role of our educational system.
In the absence of a government, the signatories of this open letter ask the National Council for Human Rights to set up a commission to ensure that the apology for terrorism is sanctioned, and to urgently set up prevention and education policies targeting schools, youth centers, the media, associations, social networks and mosques.
Edited by Ghita Benslimane