The scholar, who is also the uncle of journalist Hajar Raissouni, has said that some people exploited the term individualism for their own ends.
Rabat – Moroccan Islamic scholar Ahmed Raissouni, the head of the International Union of Muslim scholars has slammed activists and feminists who “exploited” individualism to defend “abnormal practices” following the arrest of Moroccan journalist Hajar Raissouni for abortion and sex outside marriage.
Police arrested Raissouni on August 31. After a month of detention, a court sentenced Raissouni along with her fiance to one year in prison on charges of abortion and sex outside marriage.
Less than two weeks later, King Mohammed VI pardoned the journalist and her fiance along with the doctor and medical team who allegedly conducted the abortion.
Raissouni’s case took on an international dimension, with activists and feminists condemning her arrest and the Moroccan laws that criminalize abortion and sexual relations outside marriage.
The case gave momentum to activists who took the unprecedented step of publishing a Manifesto on September 23. The manifesto stands in solidarity with Raissouni, while also criticizing the laws in Moroccan law and the penalization of sex outside marriage and abortion.
The manifesto by Sonia Terrab and Leila Slimani attracted attention from both opposition and supporters. The signatories of the manifesto called themselves outlaws.
Enemies of individualism
For Ahmed Raissouni there are two types of enemies of individualism.
The first category includes people who defend “certain abnormal practices” and wrongdoing such “adultery, homosexuality, and marital infidelity.”
For these people, continues Raissouni, the aim is to defend sexual freedom.
“Although sex and sexual freedoms (…) are more enjoyable than this falsification and contempt,” the Islamic scholar said.
Raissouni’s statement suggest that he does not only criticize the “outlaws” but also statements from Moroccan MP Omar Balafrej of the Federation of the Democratic Left (FGD)Party for criticizing laws against abortion and individual liberties.
In a live video on his Facebook, Balafrej criticized several laws in Morocco’s criminal code, including article 489.
The MP called for the removal of article 489 from the Moroccan penal code. Article 489 criminalizes “unlawful or unnatural acts with an individual of the same sex.” Homosexuality is illegal in Morocco, it is punishable by 6 months to 3 years of imprisonment with a fine ranging from MAD 200 to MAD 1,000.
He also criticized Article 490. Article 490 criminalizes all sexual intercouse outside marriage, regardless of gender or sexual orientation.
The second category includes those who prevent freedoms “unlawfully,” according to Raissouni.
Raissouni took the opportunity to also criticize countries banning or seeking to ban the veil in public spaces.
“Many countries around the world prohibit and fight individual freedoms, including the freedom to wear a veil for women, a niqab or a [covered] swimming suit.”
“All these wasted rights and freedoms are neither known nor recognized by pornographic maniacs because they are top [priority] rights,” Raissouni concluded.
In France, a nationwide debate broke out after members of National Rally (RN) verbally attacked a Muslim woman for attending a meeting on October 11 for wearing hijab.
The members of the RN asked the woman, who accompanied her son to a school activity, to leave the room or remove her hijab.