January 14, 2007


The issue is not as simple as one may think and is not easily handled by just supporting one side or the other. It’s much more complex than that and reacting to it in a superficial way won't work. It has to do with a mentality that lies very deep in the Moroccan culture.
Freedom of thought and Freedom of opinion are but an illusion some of us here tend to believe in. Others either have never believed there could be any sort of freedom in this country, or don’t believe we are mature enough to be trusted and allowed a certain amount of liberty. Such things are never given as presents. Freedom is education and a way of life just like democracy. What democracy can there be with empty stomachs?! Anyway we are a long way from freedom and democracy. What makes matters worse is the fact that there is an impending risk of going back to the old day’s practices!! The elements in conflict here are very sensitive; Religion, the monarchy and the press. The religious field knows a conflict of positions about Islam and whether it is compatible with democracy and human rights. A large category of people believes Morocco should be ruled according to Islamic law. Another large category of people in Morocco believe that religion is everybody’s concern and should be left to everyone to practice it as they wish. The press is a relatively new element in the Moroccan society and the majority of Moroccan people are illiterate. Among those who are not, very few read the press. Thus the press does not contribute in making a clear cut public opinion. Nor do political parties! Therefore, the one who controls the public opinion is the state, through its TV network and through the relatively controlled elections.