Rabat – On January 18, a group of tourists allegedly defaced the wall of an old mosque in the rural commune of Arbaa Ait Ahmed near Tiznit, in the south of Morocco.
According to the local news website Tiznit37, the tourists, who spent nearly a week in the resort of “Boutbouqalt”, desecrated the mosque by tagging offensive insults and drawings on its walls, including the drawing of a matchstick man urinating next to the word “peace”.
The same source reported that the tourists organized noisy parties late into the night, but the resort’s distance from the village prevented it from becoming a problem.
According to the aforementioned source, the local people “have no problem with foreigners, regardless of their culture or origins, and are aware of the principles of freedom and openness, since it does not affect the freedom of others.”
However, the tourists did not reciprocate the villagers’ cultural respect. During an activity organized on Wednesday at Dar Talib, a student center,, the tourists publicly drank alcohol, smoked, and played cards nearby.
After this incident became viral on social media, residents of Arbaa Ait Ahmed, who consider the desecration of the mosque an act of “savagery,” demanded that the authorities intervene to protect holy places from such acts.
The police opened an investigation and have reportedly interviewed the tourists involved in the vandalism.