Close

Forgot your password?

Choose a newsletter




Premium access provided by ENSTA

Your premium access provided by ENSTA

Enter your email to begin

Premium access granted to you by NRC Q

You have been given free premium access to Worldcrunch for 8 weeks thanks to NRC Q.

Enter your email to begin

Premium access granted to you by EM-LYON

You have been given free premium access to Worldcrunch for 8 weeks thanks to EM-LYON.

Enter your email to begin

Premium access granted to you by Goldsmiths

You have been given free premium access to Worldcrunch for 8 weeks thanks to Goldsmiths.

Enter your email to begin

Premium access granted to you by Worldcrunch HQ

You have been given free premium access to Worldcrunch for 8 weeks thanks to Worldcrunch HQ.

Enter your email to begin

Premium access granted to you by MINES Alès Alumni

You have been given free premium access to Worldcrunch for 8 weeks thanks to MINES Alès Alumni.

Enter your email to begin

Premium access granted to you by ESCP Europe Alumni

You have been given free premium access to Worldcrunch for 8 weeks thanks to ESCP Europe Alumni.

Enter your email to begin

Premium access granted to you by IONIS Education Group

You have been given free premium access to Worldcrunch for 8 weeks thanks to IONIS Education Group.

Enter your email to begin

Premium access granted to you by SOAS University of London

You have been given free premium access to Worldcrunch for 8 weeks thanks to SOAS University of London.

Enter your email to begin

Premium access granted to you by Contact Expats

You have been given free premium access to Worldcrunch for 8 weeks thanks to Contact Expats.

Enter your email to begin

Premium access granted to you by The Australian Financial Review

You have been given free premium access to Worldcrunch for 8 weeks thanks to The Australian Financial Review.

Enter your email to begin

Premium access granted to you by Stabsstelle Alumni, Career service and Fundraising

You have been given free premium access to Worldcrunch for 8 weeks thanks to Stabsstelle Alumni, Career service and Fundraising.

Enter your email to begin

Premium access granted to you by Sciences Po Alumni

You have been given free premium access to Worldcrunch for 8 weeks thanks to Sciences Po Alumni.

Enter your email to begin

Premium access granted to you by TBS Alumni

You have been given free premium access to Worldcrunch for 8 weeks thanks to TBS Alumni.

Enter your email to begin

Premium access granted to you by MinnPost

You have been given free premium access to Worldcrunch for 6 months thanks to MinnPost.

Enter your email to begin

Premium access granted to you by Expatica

You've been given FREE premium access to Worldcrunch

Enter your email to begin

Worldcrunch

Morocco: Islamists Take Power On Religious-Political Wave Sweeping North Africa

Analysis: Reforms earlier this year by the King meant to preempt popular uprisings have led to a surge to power of Morocco's leading Islamist party in this weekend's election. But as with its neighbors in the region, all wonder what the Islamists will do with that power.

Article illustrative image Partner logo Casablanca (M.Angel Herrero)

 

There was no “Arab spring” in Morocco.

In this elegant western tip of the Islamic Arabic world, things were done differently. The country’s reigning dynasty -- in power since the 17th century -- preempted public pressure. Last June, King Mohammed VI introduced a reform to the constitution that was adopted by referendum. It moves the country in the direction of democracy, gives more power to the parliament, and establishes the authority of the future prime minister with regard to the palace, even if the sovereign remains the supreme decision-maker on all things political. 

And yet again, in Morocco -- as in Egypt and Libya and Tunisia -- the Islamists have gained ground. Political Islam is the big winner of the legislative elections that were held in Morocco this past weekend. And for the first time in the country’s modern history, its number one Islamist, Abdelilah Benkirane, is slated to become prime minister. The date of these elections will be remembered, both in North Africa, and in Europe.

One can of course always pick apart the numbers, and point out that of 21 million potential voters in a country of 32 million, only 13 million registered to vote and less than a third of those placed their ballots for Mr. Benkirane’s party. But democracy held sway, and it would be misplaced to question the victory of the Justice and Development Party (JDP), which now holds 107 of the 395 seats in Morocco’s parliament.

There as elsewhere, the Islamists are garnering the fruits of many years in the opposition. They have the great merit of having built up a social aid network when the corrupt state apparatus was failing the country’s poorest people. When election day came, JDP took all the big cities, where the poor are crowded into ghettoes.

Is there a hidden agenda?

And at the same time, they also geared their rhetoric to the times, in a country that is very much open to the outside. The Islamists expressed real determination to fight corruption, focusing on “social” problems; and though they don’t espouse a defined economic doctrine, the party came across as rather free-market oriented on economic issues.

Is this progressive face masking a different political agenda? Is their intention to make Moroccan society bend to the rigors of fundamental Islam? On such “societal” questions, and on the crucial issue of the place of women in society, the JDP has never hidden its reactionary stance.

It fought in vain against the left and the palace on the issues of moving the age of marriage for girls from 15 to 18; limiting polygamy; and male guardianship of female family members. Call this what you will – conservatism or fundamentalism – but don’t lose sight of it.

Mr. Benkirane should be busy right now creating an alliance with the left to form a government. His will be a historic responsibility: to prove that the Islamists are up to the task of governing a country as diversified and complex as today’s Morocco.

Read the original article in French

photo - M.Angel Herrero

 

Sign up for our Worldcrunch Weekly newsletter now


Be a part of the conversation. Click to show comments
About this article source Website: http://www.lemonde.fr/

This leading French daily newspaper Le Monde ("The World") was founded in December 1944 in the aftermath of World War II. Today, it is distributed in 120 countries. In late 2010, a trio formed by Pierre Berge, Xavier Niel and Matthieu Pigasse took a controlling 64.5% stake in the newspaper.

Load More Stories

Unlimited access to exclusive journalism, the best world news source across all your devices

Subscribe Now Photo of Worldcrunch on different devices

Your premium access to Worldcrunch is provided by

University of Central Lancashire

Please register to begin


By registering you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy.