While several Moroccan public figures have denounced the state of Yusuf ibn Tashfin’s tomb in Marrakech based on a picture, local authorities denied neglect.
Rabat – A photograph on social media showing the mausoleum of Yusuf ibn Tashfin, the co-founder of the Moroccan Almoravid empire, covered in dust and debris has gone viral on social media, causing Moroccans to denounce the negligence of authorities.
The picture, originally posted on February 9, went viral when Moroccan journalist Youssef Belhaissi shared the photo on his Facebook profile. Thousands of Moroccans reacted to the picture, demanding that the authorities of Marrakech take better care of the tomb.
صورة يتداولها رواد مواقع التواصل لقبر #يوسف_بن_تاشفين مؤسس الدولة المرابطية، وصاحب الفضل في تأخير سقوط الأندلس لأربعة قرون. للأسف!!!
“A picture shared by social media users shows the tomb of Yusuf ibn Tashfin, the founder of the Almoravid dynasty, the one who helped al-Andalus to survive four centuries more. Unfortunate!” commented the journalist.
Several social media activists and Moroccan news outlets re-shared the photo.
One day after the first picture went viral, a new photo appeared, showing the tomb in better condition, with clean floors and walls.
Several media outlets and public figures, including Belhaissi, shared the new photo, thanking social media users for denouncing the state of the mausoleum and the authorities for reacting so quickly to the anger of Moroccans.
However, while many social media users believe the authorities intervened quickly to clean up the monument, the Regional Delegation for Islamic Affairs in the Marrakech-Safi region issued a statement denying the accuracy of the first picture.
According to the statement, released on February 10, the picture that shows the mausoleum full of debris is old. The statement explains that it was taken after the collapse of a fence surrounding the monument.
“The published pictures are far from reality. They date back to the period before the mausoleum was repaired,” reads the press release.
Authorities cleaned up the site quickly after the accident and reconstruction of the collapsed fence is ongoing, adds the document.
“The delegation takes special care of the mausoleums and shrines of the region, including the tomb of Yusuf ibn Tashfin, the founder of the city of Marrakech,” assured the ministry delegation.
The Islamic Affairs department also expressed their confusion about the “circumstances and reasons for the publication [of the first picture], and how it spread so quickly.”
The delegation said the picture is not up-to-date since the mausoleum is currently closed.
In light of the contradictory narratives between local authorities and Moroccan public figures, it remains uncertain whether the first photo was accurate or not.
Who is Yusuf ibn Tashfin?
Yusuf ibn Tashfin is the co-founder of the Almoravid dynasty and the city of Marrakech. He was also the leader of Muslim forces in the famous battle of Zallaqa/Sagrajas in al-Andalus, current southwestern Spain, in 1086.
Ibn Tashfin led an army from North Africa to al-Andalus in order to help the Muslims fight against King Alfonso VI, achieving victory and promoting an Islamic system in the region.
The Almoravid Empire, ruling Morocco between 1040 and 1147, was the second Muslim country in northwestern Africa. The empire stretched from al-Andalus in the north to the Senegal River in the south, and from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to Lake Chad in the east.