Moroccan Islamists quit Arab Spring-inspired opposition movement

December 20, 2011

(Moroccan women walk past the Hassan II mosque in Casablanca February 24, 2011. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol)

An Islamist group seen as the main opposing force to Morocco’s monarchy has suspended its involvement in a movement inspired by revolts in Tunisia and Egypt, citing the need for a new deal with secularist activists to bolster its ideology. Al-Adl wal Ihsane’s move comes at a tense time for the February 20 Movement whose regular protests, aimed at stripping the Arab world’s longest-serving dynasty of its sweeping powers, have thinned considerably in recent weeks.

On Monday, it suspended its youth wing’s involvement in the February 20 Movement, said Fathallah Arsalane, a member of al-Adl wal Ihsane’s (Justice and Spirituality) Guidance Council.

“We have suffered marginalisation at the hands of some parties in February 20 and this involved the ceiling of political demands, a ban on making public statements and the use of slogans that reflect our group’s ideology,” Arsalane told Reuters. “We are stopping our action within the February 20 Movement but we can continue outside it … We want a real partnership with everyone, including secularists and left-wing activists.”

Al-Adl is seen as Morocco’s biggest and best-organised Islamist group. It is active mostly in universities and in helping the poor, but it is banned from politics due mostly to what is seen as its hostile rhetoric towards the monarchy.

“Why do we have to tie ourselves to the extent of saying ‘No, we need to mention that we want a constitutional monarchy?’. For some it may sound too bold a demand, others may think it’s too shy,” he said. “Why did they have to prohibit slogans like “Allah is the Greatest” and others against prejudice. In doing so, you marginalise a large fraction of Moroccans”.

Read the full story here.
Follow RTRFaithWorld via Twitter Follow all posts on Twitter @ RTRFaithWorld

rss button Follow all posts via RSS

One comment

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see

In a democracy, there is no such thing as the existance of a Monarchy. A monarchy is essetially an assertion by a head of state that he has power, or the ability to rule, based upon some divine right that cannot be subject to invalidation by any legal means. Morocco, and all the other countries in the world that have Monarchies, are part of an old-school methodology of government that is continuing to fade from the public spehere. The reality is that all people involved in government must be elected by people, and not by unseen forces. The King of Morocco, and all that follow him, are following a cult, just like in North Korea, Saudi Arabia and anywhere else where you have groups of people that willingly subject themselves to be subservient to another according to anything but logic. The era of Kings is fading, and the fraud of the King of Morocco is also fading. Moroccans must pursue true democracy, and the very fact that other governments, such as the US government, keeps supporting these ‘kings’ in the middle east (while at the same time they enjoy democracy back at home), is a testament to the hippocracy of many so-called democtratic governments. Just by his mere existance, the King of Morocco puts a permanent limit on the aspirations of Moroccan people all around the world. Some day all Moroccans will realize that they don’t need a king for their lives, and their contributions to the world, to be recognized.

Posted by franknolo | Report as abusive