Morocco

Moroccan Christians Insist on Breaking Taboo and Media Clichés

Chaima Lahsini

Rabat - After the Moroccan Christians emerged out of the shadows, claiming their basic civil and legitimate rights as Moroccan citizens of Christian faith; the National Coordination of Moroccan-Christian issued a communique publicly condemning an anti-Christian article published by a Moroccan tabloid.

This time, the coordination went a step further, publishing an unprecedented press release denouncing an article written by Mustapha Al Alaoui, chief editor of the Al Ousboue tabloid, published under the title “Do Christians in Morocco ignore why ISIS was founded?”

“For the journalist Mustapha Alaoui to write in his article that 'Isis was created for the Christians of Morocco, and that they are to be killed and buried in the outskirts of the Christian cemeteries of Morocco,' is very grave and unworthy of a newspaper that calls itself national and independent,” reads the communiqué.

For the National Coordination of Moroccan Christians, the article offends the tolerant identity of Morocco, which “is deploying all its forces to strengthen democracy and consolidate human rights, including the freedom of belief which we seek, with the help of other parties and the Moroccan society, to establish constitutionally.”

The Coordination sees Al Aloui’s article as a call for violence against their community, deeming it as “an apology of terrorism, a crime which is punishable by Moroccan law.”

In fact, if the journalist does not issue an apology for his hateful article, the coordination is threatening legal recourse, suing the tabloid for hate speech and inciting violence and apology of terrorism.

“We, as Moroccan Christians, have been graced by His Majesty King Mohammed VI’s kindness and protection ... as an emir of all the believers with all their differences, their doctrines and their religions. This confirms our freedom of belief guaranteed by the Moroccan Constitution, and the commitments of Morocco regarding the application of international human rights laws.”

If Al Alaoui’s intention was to create controversy with his shockingly titled article, the journalist aimed well. Using words such as “infidels,” “apostates” and “opportunists,” Al Alaoui didn’t leave much room for guessing his opinion about Moroccan-Christians.

“Isis was founded because of Muslims who dared defy Islamic teachings and principles,” the journalist wrote, “so what do you expect when a Moroccan whose mother is named Fatima and father Mohammed publicly announces his apostasy?”

The answer according to Al Alaoui is money. “He who abandons his elders faith to convert to another religion, is nothing but an opportunist covetous of the funds used by christian churches’ to seduce Muslims.”

Not only Moroccan-Christian are a “threat to national security” according to Al Alaoui, they also portray the degree of corruption of the Moroccan government, including the religious authorities who are “silenced by the money of the churches.”

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