Rabat - Controversial Salafi sheikh Mohamed El Fizazi has been accused by a woman who said she was his wife of sexually exploiting and leaving her after she was kidnapped by a gang, assaulted and filmed naked.
Rabat – Controversial Salafi sheikh Mohamed El Fizazi has been accused by a woman who said she was his wife of sexually exploiting and leaving her after she was kidnapped by a gang, assaulted and filmed naked.
The sheikh also had his own version of the events, accusing in turn the young woman of “lying, debauchery and to blackmail.
18-year-old Hanane accused controversial Salafi sheikh Mohamed El Fizazi, almost forty years her senior, of marrying her without papers and sexually exploiting her.
The young woman, originally from Safi, shared her version of the story through online interviews, saying that she met El Fizazi on social media before she married him.
She added that he contacted her on Facebook and then asked her hand when he came to see her family. After agreeing with her family, he took her to Tangier to live with him.
Once in Tangier, the young spouse said she thought she was going to live with his family before she discovered that he took her to the headquarters of an NGO where there was a bed. She remained there, she said, while he used to come to spend one hour with with her before leaving.
Hanane said she then became pregnant afterwards, but that she lost her baby. Even though she urged her husband to make their marriage public, she claimed he refused.
“Whenever I asked him to make our marriage legal, he would treat me as stupid”, she said.
Her unpleasant experience, she claimed, took even a more dangerous turn when she was kidnapped by five people, whom her brother accused of having a connection with El Fizazi.
Hanane, who was divorced from her first husband before she met the Salafi sheikh, said her kidnappers were armed and forced her to take off her clothes and photograph her, adding that the gang blackmailed her.
“They told me to bring them MAD 20,000 or they will upload my video on the internet, and to quit Tangier”, she claimed. The young spouse added that her kidnappers told her they were hired by her husband who then walked away from her.
As the story became the talk of the town, El Fizazi issued a statement on Facebook denying he had sexual intercourse with Hanane.
He also said that Hanane was his fiancée and not his wife, and that he and his lawyer went to a court in Tangier on Monday to file for a marriage certificate, which he presented as a proof that he had the intention to marry her legally.
El Fizazi also claimed he discovered that his wife was part of a gang and that she used to drink alcohol with them, adding that her kidnapping was staged to blackmail him into paying the sum of money she mentioned.
The story has turned into a scandal on social media, with many users taking sides and slamming the sheikh for “exploiting” a girl “at the age of his granddaughters”.
White it is hard to establish the truth in a case where two people give different versions of one story, the incident raises nonetheless the question of polygamy in Morocco and the marriage of young women with men many years older than them.