A forum devoted to current political, economic trends, and news of the Maghreb region.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Reforms and Islamic Radicalism in Morocco

This recent article in the New York Times highlight the sluggish pace of reform in Morocco in recent years. Erlanger and Mekhennet contend, rather unconvincingly, that the king has reversed course on democratic reforms under pressure from Islamic radicalism. With the increasing threat of AQIM in neighboring Algeria and Sahel countries, and growing conservative forces at home, the king has chosen to freeze meaningful political and social reforms until further notice. However, state officials still maintain that the king is still committed to vast political and economic changes, but places a high premium on the "balance between freedom and social cohesion." This is in reference to the massive crackdown on Islamist radicals and Islamist politicians, who are in jail for plotting acts of terrorism according to the state. Maintaining that balance between freedom and social cohesion has also meant censorship and prior restraint against major independent publications. The case of the French language weekly Tel Quel and its Arabic sister Nichane are indicative of this alarming trend of limiting freedom of the press.


Anonymous said...

Eh, jeune beau Maghrebin ;) hope your semester is going well. just stumbled on your page; great news sourcing, I'll visit often ;)

On the subject of muzzling Tel Quel etc.., I'm curious to know your thoughts on their frequent articles often in strong support for the normalization and codification of the "Darija"...

See old Tel Quel related piece here --f

Anonymous said...

I would like to know who are you F, if you feel comfortable with it. I am for the use of Darija in daily life, but not for a complete standardization of it. Instead, We should strengthen our educational curriculum in classical Arabic. Our young generation is ever weaker in Fusha. I think many the Moroccan media are calling for that codification, often writing their articles in Darija (i.e. Rachid Ninni), in order to foment a latent nationalistic impulse. I don't understand it really, since Darija is a dialect and it should be limited at that.