Rabat – Algeria’s Ministry of Islamic Affairs issued a document yesterday calling on all imams to speak about Western Sahara to oppose Morocco’s position on the conflict.
In the circular, Algeria’s Islamic ministry also called on imams to speak about the Palestinian cause in response to Morocco’s decision to establish ties with Israel.
The document has been viral on social networks since Thursday, promoting backlash and controversy. Morocco World News attempted to verify the original statement, but the ministry’s website had not published it publicly as of the time of writing.
The move to oppose Morocco’s Western Sahara sovereignty comes as no surprise, but activists saw Algeria’s decision to use imams and a religious event, such as the Friday sermon, provocative.
Algeria continues to claim that it is against interference in the domestic affairs of other countries. The action of Morocco’s eastern neighbor, however, shows otherwise.
Morocco’s diplomatic gains have caused frustration for Algeria and the Polisario Front, likely prompting the move to use imams to advance the country’s Western Sahara position. One of Algeria and Polisario’s latest setbacks was when the US decided to recognize Morocco’s sovereignty over Western Sahara on December 10.
A few days after the US announced its firm support for Morocco, Algeria’s Prime Minister Abdelaziz Djerad described Trump’s move as illegal.
The official also condemned Morocco’s decision to establish ties with Israel, directly attacking Morocco’s domestic affairs.
Djerad said the deal with Israel was a move that directly “targets Algeria.”
He described Morocco’s decision to establish diplomatic relations with Israel as a “threat” at his country’s borders.
“The Zionist enity has arrived,” he said.
Morocco’s government, however, rejected all allegations that Rabat abandoned its unwavering support for the Palestinian cause.
On December 10, King Mohammed VI said that no measures affect Morocco’s permanent and sustained commitment to continue to defend the just Palestinian cause.
On Thursday, Morocco’s Foreign Minister Nasser Boruita echoed the country’s principled position regarding the conflict.
Bourita said that Morocco’s resumption of diplomatic ties with Israel will not undermine its commitment to the Palestinan cause.
The FM stressed that Morocco hopes to “fully play its role” to achieve lasting regional peace.
He said that the King had recalled “the general framework of the Kingdom’s constant and firm position, which derives its roots from the special ties that unite the Jewish community of Moroccan origin, including in Israel, with the Person of His Majesty, Commander of the Faithful.”
The North African country has repeatedly vowed to contribute to finding a political solution to end the Israel-Palestinian conflict.
Morocco also supports the etablishment of an independent Palestinian state, with East Jerusalem as its capital.