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au debut du nouvel an, juste avant Aichoura, á Kenitra s’est effectué accident grave …..les pauvres gens qui étaient en train de construire ce batiment et qui étaient en train de consomer leur repas dans la cave….. karita ……. les pauvres, Allah y ra7mhoum. Que Dieu soit aide pour les pauvres qui sont resté sans pere, frere, aimé.
Et que inch Allah les responsables seront arretés…….irresponsable ce qu’ils ont fait.
All Together for a Better Future!
September 7th national day…
During the course of the last months of 2007, the tragi-comic series foisted on Moroccans and into which some had even to take part in its staging on a politically bankrupt theatre came to an end.
The fateful day of September 07, 2007, the preceding incidents and the entailing ramifications all constitute the ultimate phase of the political disaster our country has been enduring for decades. The September elections, like the substandard serial of government formation, have attested to the ongoing deterioration of the overall situation in the country and the ever deepening gulf between grassroots and governing elite: 80%, at least, of the population expressed their rejection of the game.
Abroad as well as at home, everybody has realized the seriousness of the situation: decision makers, oppressed masses, influential forces, free minds and politicians…. The core issue is absolute despotism, pure and simple, which remains the source of all our misery until the Almighty God helps those willing to regain their dignity and pride and rally to put an end to the oppression and humiliation to which the Moroccan people have been subjected for so long.
A preacher’s sermon, disconnected from the world around him, you might say. Not in the least! It is rather the view of those who have remained steadfast in their belief in God and thus have never given up hope, despite bleak perspectives and despite the unspeakable conceit of some. A revealing indication is that some of those who had trusted, or been taken in by, the regime’s promises reconsidered their position immediately after the elections. Let’s hope that all the others follow suit.
In these circumstances, and in keeping with its principles and mission to promote sincerity, transparency and accountability, and in line with our Islamic teachings that enjoin truth-telling whatever the consequences, the movement Justice and Spirituality addresses this letter to the Moroccan people, civil society and business leaders and all the country’s influential figures. The letter aims to clearly identify who is largely to blame for what is happening, focusing on the crucial problems plaguing this country and stressing the people’s legitimate rights to live in dignity and achieve a decent life.
Thanks to God, the movement Justice and Spirituality has, since its inception, maintained and stood for sincerity, clarity and the like values under all circumstances. During the last three decades, the movement has taken a number of bold initiatives to point out clearly to the source of our misery and in all responsibility put forward some proposals to cope with it: Islam or the Flood, The Century Royal Letter in the View of Islam, Memorandum to whom it May Concern…
It’s really sad that the situation in the country should be so lamentable after more than 50 years have elapsed since the end of the military occupation, in the wake of a liberation war conducted by the brave Muslim Moroccan people whose blood was spilt in different regions of Morocco’s blessed land. May God have mercy upon our righteous martyrs’ souls.
After over half a century of hopes and expectations, Morocco has turned into a vast waiting room open to the unknown as a result of gross errors and wrong policies the responsibility of which lies solely on the shoulders of the Makhzenian political system, the only real wielder of power in the country. All the successive governments have never been more than mere executants.
Figures and sufferings
Because of the cupidity of the pillars of the regime and their unconcern with true economic development, the country got stuck in underdevelopment, with a very weak GDP ($50 billion, further weakened by international debt service and expenditure minimization) that suits neither its strategic position nor its human, agricultural, maritime, mining, and tourism potentials. It should be noted, furthermore, that Morocco’s GDP growth rate hasn’t exceeded 3.81% throughout the last 40 years, which is distinctly inferior to other developing countries for the same period.
Even worse, since 1999, the growth rate has declined noticeably (3.33% compared to 5.35 recorded by other developing countries over the same period of time) ranking Morocco below non-oil-producing countries like Tunisia, Jordan, Egypt and Turkey.
A comparison between Morocco and neighboring Spain, which is quite legitimate, given the similarities in many aspects, highlights the sterility of the Moroccan political system. Spain started in a context even worse that ours (a civil war in the 30′s that caused the death of 400 000 people and horrendous losses), yet it dressed its wounds, and after a modest beginning in 1956, followed by other steps culminating with the institution of the democratic system in 1975, it has been able to make great achievements: a GDP of over 1100 billion dollars and a 98% rate of literacy…whereas in Morocco, after five decades of independence, the literacy rate, to cite but one example, has not exceeded 50 percent
A national catastrophe
As for the condition of education, it is literally painful to broach this topic. For, despite pompous pronouncements and repeated promises since the 50′s, figures speak louder. According to those in charge themselves, from the highest to the lowest level, education has reached the worst state ever recorded, and the reality is even more shocking.
The tragedy of education in Morocco seems like a fierce war conducted against the most precious asset any nation ever has: children and youth. A high dropout rate at primary and secondary schools, overcrowding that divests the pedagogical process of any efficiency, sale of a number of public educational institutions, lack of supervision and training at all levels. Meanwhile, our unemployed postgraduates are generously beaten during protests despite the growing need for their skills, especially with the continuing brain drain.
Private education is not spared from this epidemic either despite its insignificant share of the sector: only 6% that remains far from what was first planned (20%).
What is even worse is the alarming decline of the educational and moral level of a rapidly growing number of students. Those who are still spared are constantly threatened to be engulfed by waves of adolescents that the eroding policies have virtually turned into human wrecks.
And above all, there is a substantial reduction of expenditure on this sector while billions are readily being allotted to activities of no real value to the public. The huge amount of money set for official royal visits, for example, and accompanying activities (preparations, transportation, residence, repasts, and allowances) are believed to surpass sometimes the amount budgeted for the projects being inaugurated.
Let’s not forget either the billions taken away from public money and taxes, without having, as usual, anyone accountable for their actions, to conduct futile campaigns to distract Moroccans and lure them into thinking that their country has become a favorite destination worldwide: three candidatures for hosting the soccer world cup, another failed attempt to host the 2012 international expo in Tangier …No official has ever disclosed the exact amounts of money scattered here and there which could very well have served to create jobs for our unemployed university graduates and build schools, hospitals, houses, factories and the like projects that the country is in need of.
The educational calamity is not one of a kind. Children labor, for boys and girls alike, is a phenomenon that pulls us down in terms of human rights. Statistics on this subject are very revealing: more than 30% of working children are between age 7 and 17, and 90% of them are 10 to 14 years old, a trend that is all the more accentuated by massive school dropout (400.000 dropped out within a single year). What is distressing, however, is that 30% of working children have never set foot inside a school building.
But what kind of work are we talking about? Official figures speak for themselves: 31% simply work for nothing, and 53% have salaries way below minimum wages. Health care, proper food and hygiene are utterly beyond their reach. Other figures bespeak the isolation and the various forms of violence these innocent youngsters are subjected to. The picture gets even gloomier when we add the increasing number of vagrant children, and the rising rate of juvenile delinquency and youth criminality.
Let us also not forget the drug phenomenon that is raging among children and youth, schooled and unschooled alike, a deadly commodity that is selling like hot cakes at the gates of our schools.
The Makhzen and its far-reaching tentacles
A key feature of the prevailing stifling crisis in Morocco is that the Monarchy dominates not only Moroccan politics but also the economic sphere, and particularly its vital sectors, and this has only exacerbated the people’s suffering. Think, for example, of its ambiguous management of national assets and of its participation (through monster combines like ONA) in the capitals of companies that monopolize the lion’s share of all the strategic economic sectors: major food industries, mines, finances… Enormous benefits are made that constitute nearly10% of the GDP (over $5 billion). In the meantime prices of basic commodities are insolently skyrocketing, crushing in the process the buying power of both working and middle classes.
What is worse is that economic operators who do not revolve around Makhzenian conglomerates find themselves besieged by a fierce and dishonest competition that inhibits economic dynamic and competitiveness which could otherwise have had a positive economic and social impact.
Thus, being in the ideal position to make unlimited profits and amass an immense fortune, the royal family is believed to own and control 20% of the GDP of the country, viz. the 1/5 of national wealth. It is hard find something of the kind anywhere in the world.
In this context where economic rapacity combines with political despotism, it is only natural that Morocco reaches a dead-end and that all the attempts to revive the stagnant economy have simply failed. It is not surprising either that unemployment level surpasses a million and a half of the population, the 2/3 of which are university graduates who are recurrently beaten whenever they stage a protest in front of the so-called representative institutions in the capital or in other Moroccan cities. As a matter of fact, the real level of unemployment is much higher if we take into account that 30% of the working population are simply unsalaried assistants of their families in different economic sectors.
Our youth are risking their lives on precarious boats trying to reach the greener shore (Europe). The number of victims of those perilous adventures keeps escalating without stirring up in senior officials any concern whatsoever, as if the people involved were not human beings.
Another moving piece of this gloomy landscape is the issue of girls and women being trafficked to different parts of the world for commercial sexual exploitation by international prostitution networks operating freely in the country. Even the Zionist state receives its share.
In the mean time, an unmatched campaign to promote vice and normalize debauchery is raging all over the country. Cities like Marrakech and Agadir, once historical centres of learning and scholarship, jihad and highly developed moral sense, have now become the preferred destinations for seekers of debauchery and depravation. The official media and those affiliated with it in one way or another play a major role in this assault on our cultural and Islamic values.
These concerted actions have made that a growing number of Moroccan women have become more exposed and vulnerable. Instead of their being given the opportunity and the means to live peacefully inside a respectful familiar context or have decent jobs that protect them from abuse and exploitation, they are left to face on their own all sorts of problems. The picture would undoubtedly be different it were not for the dire circumstances facing young Moroccans and of which social injustice, glaring inequities in the distribution of national wealth and insuperable obstacles (unaffordable housing, lack of jobs, miserable incomes…) to start a family are just some of the conspicuous aspects.
Millions of Moroccans live under poverty line –a figure daily swelling by a population drift away from rural areas- and the ratio between the highest and lowest salaries -to speak only of civil servants and salaried jobs- ranges from1 to 1000, a gap that hardly exists anywhere in the world. And to add insult to injury the regime sets itself against the Moroccan society, and through dubious activities and programs plants, as it were, the seeds of corruption at the very heart, the core and hub of the family structure: women. Consequently, many Moroccan citizens don’t even dare to declare their nationalities in international meetings, for the reputation of their homeland is far from enviable in this respect.
The right to our Islamic identity
Thanks to this “wise policy”, and to its latest refurbished and updated version, Morocco and particularly some of its cities have become the destination par excellence of a form of socially dubious tourism.
Almost every day Moroccans hear about new scandals: provocative parties consecrating alcoholic beverages, demonstrations in favor of drugs, promotion of a homosexual culture that a handful of pariahs, supported by internal and external lobbies, seek to introduce and normalize in an Islamic country that reprobates these kinds of immoral practices.
Presently, everybody could bear witness to the spectacle of moral decay in our society. On Youtube for instance: pornographic footage clips, homosexual wedding parties besides the infamous recordings of the corrupt police officers of Targuist…are just a few examples, among many more, that may give an idea about the very nature of the power structure. Given the various destructive factors that are actively gnawing away at the foundation of the political edifice, the country seems to be heading for the rocks quite shortly. Only then will people realize the size and scope of the harm being inflicted on the Moroccan society under a despotic rule.
Such being the case, every believer has to voice his standpoint, and every citizen should give his and her explicit opinions about the current state of affairs. It is both a religious obligation and a political commitment to the people that we should solemnly honor. The lack of effective accountability is not acceptable any more, and absolute power and arbitrariness are warranted neither by religious logic nor by political reasoning. Let’s be clear: is it not legitimate to wonder what Islam and what democracy they are talking about when such rhetoric is belied by the facts on the ground?
It is vain to talk about “the moralization” of society, and political life in particular, if we do not speak first and foremost about “the moralization” of the ruling elite. Why shouldn’t they set an example to the rest if they were sincere? Isn’t the political will itself, a key to solving our various crises, the best evidence of the existence of a living morality?
It is seems that a large scale, ruthless campaign is targeting our beloved Morocco: pillaging its national wealth, weakening its people’s purchasing power, putting up for sale its public institutions, particularly the strategic ones, and some of the country’s best lands, using up its ground water reserves, alarming capital flight, dismantling civil society institutions in general and political parties in particular, marginalization of the countryside of which a vast swathes are under what looked a social, political and economic embargo since the 50’s, a policy the ghastly effects of which continue to intensify, fostering activities that undermine our cultural and Islamic values and prepare the ground for debauchery to take root in our society, condoning, if not encouraging, the proliferation of places of prostitution where a growing number of women and girls, mainly from poor areas, are lured and subjected to abuse and exploitation, closing Qur’anic schools to dry up the supposed source of extremism, sealing off some houses for hosting religious meetings, engaging in a wide range of practices that violate the basic human rights and chip away at citizens’ dignity…
The new era so enthusiastically cheered by a phalanx of flatters and those with vested interests is a continuation, pure and simple, of an old one that we thought is dead and buried. The old practices are still alive and well: massive arrests, arbitrary trials, outrageous verdicts and above all, a refined brand of torture developed by cold-blooded psychopaths.
We are facing an actual tragedy. Our physical, moral and spiritual well-being is in real danger. Thus we call on all to assume full responsibility: religious scholars silenced, notwithstanding some exceptions, by centuries-long, despotic hereditary rule, political and economic actors, and all the Moroccan people who are concerned about the future, stability and prosperity of this country.
Let’s face it! The Mekhzenian regime has become a real barrier to democracy and development. Even worse, it threatens the very identity of this country, its social fabric and its vital interests. Even regional and Mediterranean stability is at stake, considering the tolerated hundreds of thousands of acres of hashish and an illegal immigration fed constantly by policies that foster impoverishment and deprivation.
Is the reality that grim or are we playing devil’s advocate? Does our account reflect the reality or is it purposefully alarmist? Do we focus only on the dark side and dismiss what has been achieved here and there as worthless? Not in the least. But data provided by official sources are very shocking, and the reality is extremely disappointing. There is no intention to exaggerate, but we are simply trying to render, to the best of our knowledge, what is going on the ground.
Morocco is in dire need of good governance, transparency and accountability in all areas, especially financial sectors where those in charge should be subject to supervision: they must pay their taxes, their incomes should be assessed on the basis of expenditure and charges, and those who want to make business must not take advantage of their position to increase their personal gain but rather find a place for themselves in the market as simple competitors among others.
A Morocco that is free, democratic, developing, committed to the promotion of human rights, in peace with itself and all its constituents would be a gain for all. It would constitute a protective wall against regional tensions, terrorism and clandestine immigration and be beneficial for the stability in this region and enhance cooperation between its European, Maghrebin and African countries.
The movement Justice and Spirituality never despairs, nor will it let itself be silenced or intimidated. Its faith in God is unshakable: that He eventually will obliterate oppression and injustice and help us to establish a just political system through active participation of all strata of society. Thus we call on our people not to succumb and that we should stick to our right to draw on our cultural and Islamic values to seek a liberating collective revivification.
The movement Justice and Spirituality, loyal, as always, to its Islamic principles and values, is with the people in the struggle for their legitimate demands and aspirations for social justice, civil liberties, moral values, human rights, true democracy, economic development, healthcare, education, decent food and other essentials, …etc. It keeps, in so doing, its commitment to take part in any sincere action, hand in hand with other groups and political actors in this country, to create this society that we all aspire for.
For a quarter of a century, we have never ceased calling for a pact. The passing years have only reinforced us in our conviction: that the task ahead of us is daunting, and that it cannot be achieved unless those with clean hands get involved. We are confident that our country abounds with such hands, for despite all these frustrating conditions our people have never lost faith in God and would undoubtedly endorse any sincere initiative to establish a just society.
What do you, who are worried about your country, say to them then? What do our elite propose? What do men and women of good will suggest? Is there any hope for joint action to the benefit of our people? What is the best strategy to stop the ongoing decay, usher in a truly new era and initiate the required reforms our country in dire need of?
We hope that those who are truly concerned stand and work together to save our country and secure a bright future for our people here and everlasting happiness in the hereafter. « God will certainly aid those who aid His cause; for verily God is Full of Strength, Exalted in Might » (The Pilgrimage, 38).
Rabat, December 08, 2007
Justice and Spirituality Movement
National Council of the Political Circle.
تاريخ النشر : 08/01/2008