The Moorish Wanderer

Thank You Your Majesty, But No Thanks.

Cooler heads prevail. Though it is now almost 48 hours after the King’s Speech, and it is still early to say, I have made my mind up on the very issue of constitutional referendum: I will be voting No, and depending on the date, I will do my best to be in Morocco and campaign there, to the best of my abilities, to convince my fellow citizens not to abstain, and to think carefully before they vote Yes.

My stand on the issue should not be construed as the typical moaning of a ‘professional complainer’, or worse, the dangerous plotting of a full-paid agent provocateur. It should however be considered for what it is: the logical conclusion of lucid expectations. And I should think my nihilism (to paraphrase our matchless Communications Minister and official Government Spokesman, Khalid Naciri) remains constructive (I would not agree with those calling for a boycott, though I am sympathetic to their action as we do have a great deal in common). The panel in charge of re-writing the constitution has been appointed– and as far as regular citizens are concerned, no one was consulted on these appointed panellists (many of whom are respected constitutional law professors, but with no proven record of baldness in terms of constitutional reforms. His Majesty and his counsel played safe by choosing dull people. For the disgruntled citizens like me, it is a disappointingly sad omen on the likely drafted constitution.

Before I start elaborating on why I have made my mind up very early, I should perhaps address a ‘methodological’ issue: I have already recorded feedbacks on such early pledge, and these are not very encouraging; In a nutshell, we should all be grateful to His Majesty to grant us, contumacious subjects, our wishes (by

the way, it was a delight to read or listen to artistic flip-flops. God Bless the Internet and the snapshots.) So now, dissident voices should rally behind and mute their concerns. That, in my opinion, destroys the very basic idea of democracy. This timid reform is a first step or rather a substantial step in a never ending democratic process. And I believe expressing dissident opinion does not weaken this process, but strengthen it instead. Would you imagine a dull campaign where everyone calls for ‘Yes’?

Now, back to the process itself: it is quite obvious that 3 months are not enough to debate a genuine constitutional reform, and if I had access to some inside intelligence, I would say that the document in question has already been drafted in its core dispositions, and the 3 months are just a time lag to ‘educate’ the public –and mute the dissidence- on the idea that this is a ‘frontier constitution’. Alternatively, I can put on my optimistic hat and praise this time period as whip-up for all interested citizens to get their heads together and come up with whatever necessary or useful as a contribution to the debate.

Everyone of us, citizens at heart (and de facto subjects of the Crown) is eager to see that this reform unlocks the largest possible set of Royal prerogatives, so as to move from a constitutional monarchy (with virtually all executive powers concentrated in the hands of the King) to a parliamentary monarchy (where power resides effectively in the hands of the Moroccan people and their elected representatives). This commission is unlikely to deliver on the reforms front, not the least because its legitimacy is not popular, and the panellists are also likely to play safe and push for an upgraded version of the last constitution (1996). Under the assumption that the draft has not been prepared yet, It would have been best to table a longer time period (say a year instead of 3 months) and with a larger and more diverse commission (come to think of it, a constitutional convention is a much bolder, albeit much less expected move) whose members would not be restricted to an assembly of law scholars.

We still have 3 months to go. And when this commission presents its findings to the King and to the People, those of us who care about such things are presented with three alternative courses of action: either accept the draft and call for an affirmative vote, refuse the proposed constitution and vote no, or refuse the whole thing and refuse even to show up to the ballot. As a show of good faith -and an extraordinary effort in looking optimistic on my part- I will do my best to campaign intelligently for a ‘No’ Vote. Boycott, in my opinion is likely to undermine its goals more than it would help (the pro-boycott and I are of one mind on the undemocratic selection and outcome of such commission, that goes without saying)

Why vote no: as it happens, I have been involved with a certain political apparatus that has been remarkably constant and faithful to the concept of a constitutional reform. The Moroccan radical left has always been critical of the ‘the granted constitution’ and this stalwart stand on principles should be underlined when compared to the spineless, obsequious and unimaginative stand of mainstream political parties, who suddenly champion these reforms as ‘necessary’ and ‘beneficial’. I think a ‘No Vote’ or a boycott are only remaining faithful to their proclaimed principles.

My minimal set of reforms is unlikely to be matched. It simply means that I am not going to be satisfied with the draft constitution tabled for popular referendum, and as such, I would vote against it. This is democracy 101: I don’t agree, ergo I vote against. Any Belkhayat-style anathema implying I would be a traitor to the King and to the Nation should be dismissed as incoherent and shallow dithering of flip-floppers and opportunists.

A friend and fellow blogger expressed his concerns about the campaign itself, and I fully share them: are people like me be allowed to express their views on the public media outlets? Am I guaranteed that, if I ever was on the street, distributing leaflets and engaging with citizens to convince them not to vote in favour, no one will threaten my physical integrity? In short, will my voice be heard and not suppressed? And in a sense, it is worrying that I should ask these questions: I blog in English, and many of the issues I post about are not of the bread and butter kind of issue, but what would happen if I decide to go off-line and engage with other Moroccans in Morocco?

What is to be done, then? First, I will try to do what the commission is doing: draft my own recommendations on the upcoming reforms, simply as a passionate citizen doing their best to make their voice heard on the internet, democracy lives by informed and diverse opinions.

Coat of arms of Morocco

So, thank you for the Window Opportunity, but No Thanks. The Game Rules are biased right from the start.

Second, we need a target for No-voters. The good news is, such popular consultation is not one about outright majorities, and the symbol it embodies has a far greater reach than the actual result: I should like to think that a minimal figure of 30-40% ‘No’,  though a minority at the end of the day, is too high a figure for the Monarchy and its courtesans to parade around the ‘undying union between the People and the King’ line. Such figure would genuinely show that a sizeable chunk of the population wants some change, real change. And as long as nihilists like me are allowed to express freely their views on the field, as long as everyone play by the rules, the referendum outcome could bring some surprises.

54 Responses

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  1. mouka said, on March 11, 2011 at 12:17

    Tell you what, I didn’t need more than one second after the speech to see through the game the monarchy is playing: let the tsunami that is sweeping the arab world [ass by and return to business as usual with some superficial, and insignificant, changes to the constitution. In the meantime, unleash the propaganda machine and sell this change as “profound” and “earth shaking” and “bold” and “courageous”, wink wink to Khalid Naciri, whereas the reality of the matter will remain the same. The king is as almighty as he ever was, but now he is wearing the robe of the agora democrats of ancient greece.
    What a joke.
    On a positive note, if the majority of Moroccans would vote no, it would be a resounding defeat to the games the monarchy is playing. But that would be a long shot. I started thinking lately that we are fighting a losing battle. Moroccans in their majority are easily manipulated by the propaganda machine at the disposal of the regime. Only the youth is skeptical and suspicious of the makhzen.
    I will reiterate my recommendation for you my friend: Find a decent job where you are now and forget about finding a good job in Morocco. I personally think we are sinking even deeper into oblivion. Morocco is, and will be in the very long term, a weak economy with no chance of taking off economically. As long as one person decides of everything, and as long as he favors useless marinas, pointless fast trains and “injazat” that make no sense economically, Moroccans will continue to serve as a steady source of food for fish in the gibraltar strait.
    I am in such a gloomy mood that I don’t even know what I will need to find the courage to go to work today.
    It is such a disappointment that I am actually thinking this was the intended goal by the monarchy.
    Have you watched the M2 or Al Maghribia lately? People are celebrating the speech as if we have just kicked out the king and established a democracy.
    My sincere condolences to all Moroccans for the sudden death of their aspirations to freedom and democracy.
    Al baraka frassekoum alamghareba.

    • fawzi said, on March 11, 2011 at 16:57

      Oh my…Moroccans have been exiling themselves for too long. It’s time we stood our ground in the face of the dictatorial monarchy, if not out of a sense of patriotism, then for the betterment of humanity. We need to make sacrifices. We need to make noise. Not leave the place for the palace and its entourage as has been done for ages now.

      Yours is the defeatist attitude that plagued our part of the world for generations. I refuse to lay back and watch a country I can do something about sink deeper in the cult of personality and deity. It’s time to move our butts and do what our ancestors didn’t do for lack of education and/or motivation.

  2. mouka said, on March 11, 2011 at 12:19

    Correction: Losing battle, not loosing battle.

  3. Sue Hutton said, on March 11, 2011 at 12:41

    What on earth are you talking about? Start clarifying your ideas so that they make sense to the rest of the world. Do you really think perfection is attainable? You have to start somewhere. As it is, you come over as very negative without even having given the king’s ideas the chance to come to fruition. Yes, I suspect that the king has had these ideas for some time now, but for various reasons hasn’t been able to push them through. The protests have given him the opportunity. I wouldn’t mind betting there’s a power-base somewhere which has been opposing his reforms every step of the way. Corruption? It’s endemic. Guess what? We even have it in UK. Major difference is that we have a relatively free press that can expose it, usually well after the event. Integrity starts with the individual, each individual. And that means you and all Moroccans as well as the king.

    • fawzi said, on March 11, 2011 at 17:19

      Your ignorance of the level of dictatorship in Morocco shows.

      The king has no intention to give up power. He repeatedly stated that he has no intention to establish a Spanish or Scandinavian style monarchy where the king/queen is a symbolic figure. He will remain head of the executive because his God allegedly said so.

      I wish I’ll have to recant my words and eat my hat in three month’s time, but I’m too familiar with the Machiavellian nature of the Makhzen to expect any substantial change. The shit the king pulled is the oldest trick in the book.

      And please don’t insult our intelligence by comparing Morocco to Britain. Democracy-wise, we’ve not even reached something like Magna Carta. We are centuries behind, and I kid you not! It took the internet and worldwide jihadism to drag us into a stage analogous to the West’s enlightenment. So, if you can’t help us achieve popular sovereignty, gender equality, civil rights, freedom of expression, secularism, and the like, the least you can do is keep out of this debate. Thanks in advance.

      M6 had 12 long years to show us he acts in good faith. Besides some of his early decisions, the rest has been a miserable failure. He always pretended to sacrifice democracy and freedoms for stability in a blatant false dichotomy fallacy. His interests always came first, and humanistic values were trashed. I have ample evidence about it.

    • Aisha said, on March 11, 2011 at 17:23

      LOL!!! It sounds like Thatcher speaking! TINA (There is no alternative), individualism… Hey! Thatcher and individualism is your culture, and guess what? Everybody hates it! It has brought havoc on the hole world! Keep it for yourself, please.

      • fawzi said, on March 11, 2011 at 19:00

        I don’t see any connection between the doctrine of economic liberalism and what Sue has written. None whatsoever!

        At best, you’re answering her allusion to the “individual” in a fallacious manner. At worse, you’re just spewing hatred that’s uncalled for.

        Sue seems to imply that MoorishWand and I, as individuals, have some sort of obligation to fulfill before voicing skepticism at the king. A tu quoque of sorts that completely ignores the absolutist nature of the Moroccan monarchy and the non-existent leeway at the disposal of the normal citizen. Indeed, we don’t even enjoy the freedom to speak our minds on fundamental issues (the king and Islam are examples that come to mind).

  4. Amine said, on March 12, 2011 at 22:17

    The king’s speech is just a joke. It’s actually a red herring to divert attention from the main issue which is for the first time in Morocco’s recent history people (some of them) dared to ask the king to step aside and let them get their country back.
    The king saw the mounting pressure of Feb20 protests calling explicitly for a parliamentary monarchy and he literally freaked out asking himself how dare my obedient and docile subjects dare to ask me directly to relinquish my powers to them.
    He couldn’t stick to the status quo or turn a blind eye so he decided to throw a speech giving people fake hope for an elusive demand.
    I still can’t get why US & EU hailed the speech. Do they still favor stability and business over democracy.
    Can’t they just grasp a lesson from what happened in Egypt and go for democracy the only guarantee for stability.
    I call for all my fellow Moroccans to join the March 20 protests and voice vehemently their demand for a parliamentary monarchy.
    And for the draft constitution, it would be basically those 7 points that the king pointed out. No more no less.
    So either boycott this circus or vote NO

  5. Imad said, on March 13, 2011 at 00:50

    It feels great to read the article and the comments which show that Moroccans have seen all these tricks before, tricks practised by all dictators around the world. What Moroccans want is a parliamentary constitution. What they get or will get is anything but. The 3 months is just a time-buying opportunity to get things organised and to imprison the unlucky ones among those who object to this self-named emir of the faithful.
    What is sad in Morocco is that the people really like the king as a person. They know he has all these business interests that have ruined Morocco and still like him. What they ask for is simply for the others to be selected and judged by the people. The king somehow and for the same reasons as other dictators do not want to give up power, will do his best not to cede an inch. In the end, it will back-fire on him and his cronies.
    I found his speech idiotic and misguided. Instead of taking concrete steps to move Morocco forward, he passed the ball to his selected committee to re-write his draft of a supposedly new constitution.
    I sincerely hope people do not vote or even turn out for such a humiliating situation.
    Moroccans everywhere are tired of these cosmetic changes, this circus must stop. The king has already been given the benefit of the doubt and has already run the country and his businesses for more than a decade. Any more time given to him will be a waste and we must demand serious change now and not in the future. Sound bites like all his speeches do not serve much, they just help keep Morocco in the 15th century.
    The timing of the speech also indicates that the king is scared of change and is aware that if other dictators, far more criminal than him have already been kicked out, his time must surely be tabled.
    I call on all Moroccans to keep up the pressure on him and his family. The cronies around him, the Fassi Fihris and all the other mafia members will surely get their day of judgment.

  6. Imad said, on March 13, 2011 at 01:45

    For those who claim Morocco is on the right path:

  7. Imad said, on March 13, 2011 at 02:36

    For those who think the problem is not the king. THE problem is the king and his family of criminals. Of course those around him would be of the same ilk. Watch this and the cases talked about are well documented and well proven with photos, video and everything. All existing proof elsewhere would indicte anybody apart from members of the royal family and his cronies.

  8. Imad said, on March 13, 2011 at 03:26

    For those who believe in peaceful freedom of speech. Here’s what you get in return in the “best” country in the world.

  9. Jamil Maroc said, on March 13, 2011 at 10:52

    The Moroccan king wasn’t even under real pressure nor threat, and he dared to give a start for a constitutional reform that goes beyond many expectations. Still many are skeptical, why? I think it is more a cultural matter. We all grow in a world of lack of trust, where parents lies to their children and to each other, and where we are not used to promises being hold.

    It’s amazing to see how many Moroccans go abroad, learn to speak and write good English, but still keep the old good habits: never trust, always say no, always be on the demanding side.

    People who have behaved like this have always missed the point and were forgotten soon by history.

    In other words, the King is not granting a new constitution, he does not have a new or even a revised one to grant. What he is doing is to take initiative, so the result will be a reform of the constitution that is based on collaboration and participation. And you have two choices, either you participate or you keep standing on the side of the looser.

    • Imad said, on March 13, 2011 at 12:58

      Just for information, when Moroccans and other nationals for that matter go abroad, they see the light. Their eyes get opened and after a short while they fully grasp the dictatorship they were under. In front of their eyes, they see their country’s stolen money being plundered, wasted or invested. They get to read what they want, written by proper and not-banned journalists. They get to watch proper TV programmes and not the king’s speech or his propaganda played 24-hours a day on public channels.
      Morocco is a police state, was under king Hassan 2 and is still under the current king. Saying otherwise means that you’re either naive or playing to the king and his cronies’ tune.
      Just like the last elections where no more than 27% voted, I hope no one turns up to vote for this “new” constitution written by his selected group.
      I promise you that they will be participation on this constitution and I am absolutely sure Mr El Himma, tha Fassi Fihris…will have they input as well. Come back and read this after 5 years and see what changed. The word that comes to mind: Nothing.

    • fawzi said, on March 13, 2011 at 17:29

      The Moroccan people are discontent with the king’s entourage and the absolute nature of the monarchy.

      It is extremely dangerous to have an anti-monarchist position, and that gives the false impression that everyone is OK with the status quo.

      The king has already decided on what’s negotiable and what isn’t in the constitution. And he also went out of his way to select ardent supporters of the Makhzen in this commission.

      The way I see it, he was cornered. Either accompany the #20Feb movement and admit the legitimacy of their demands, or turn a blind eye. He did the smart thing, and in a way, guaranteed his son a job.

      Remove the silly sacralities, then we’ll talk about participatory reform.

  10. Imad said, on March 13, 2011 at 12:46

    The king’s establishment was and is still under threat. To come up with a speech regarding changes to the constitution at this time is not a coincidence. All other major Arab rulers are doing the same (see Bahrain, Oman…). What it does show is that they are well aware of what people want and in a move to pre-empt general strikes, they come up with their usual sound bites in order to buy more time.
    The king’s initiative is nothing new or historic, it’s the same old cassette played again. except that this time, this “new” constitution will take 3 months. Why exactly 3 months ? because it is enough to diffuse the current situation.
    It’s every body’s right to defend whom they want. Based on the last decade and on the last half a century, it’s evidently clear to see that the current and past kings have no real interest in making any substantial change.
    The question of trust does not even arise, look at the current Moroccan constitution and read articles 19, 23, 24 and 29 among others. Do you really think those will change beyond cosmetically ?
    Look at who surrounds the king, his family members, some of whom would be imprisoned in countries where justice rules. Do you really think that the king will want to see justice above everyone including himself and his family ?

  11. Minibixx said, on March 13, 2011 at 15:03

    I lived and studied abroad for more than 10 years (France, US, Switzerland…), I’m back living in Morocco since 2002 and I can assure you, you are a millions miles away from what moroccans in general think and feel regarding the 20 feb mouvement and the king’s speech ! The King is more progressist than the moroccan society in general and this has been proven before.

    To see this and judge it from abroad is an easy and comfortable task, like you said you should come and make your ‘No’ campaign, but you should be prepared to face great opposition from your fellow moroccans.

    30’000 people taking the streets to imitate real revolutions of tunisia and egypt DO NOT speak for the Moroccan people or even for the Moroccan Youth !

    Of course the fight you’re fighting is a lost one… because it was NEVER a Fight of the PEOPLE OF MOROCCO (I know that’s the impression you get from abroad)

    Long live the King and the Moroccans.

    • Minibixx said, on March 13, 2011 at 15:12

      … And don’t even bother to answer me, I have faith and I know the moroccan people I live with them their every day life and !

      I’m not saying Morocco is a perfect state or anything like that, I’m just saying moroccans don’t support the 20th feb mouvement because of it’s timing and copy-paste style, even though they support some of the requests of the movement.

      Time will show you I’m right, just sit tight… The King is here for a long long time with a lot of his powers, get used to it ! (or come campaign otherwise, create a political party… or anything likewise)

      And those who think free press is a dream in morocco you should come and read it first ! And the internet is 100% free in morocco and the cheapest in the arab/muslim world.

      Come to Morocco then you can critisize and debate with your fellow moroccans.

      Visit these blogs : (by a young moroccan monarchist)
      Tiwliwla (a new blog about the revolutions in the arab world seen from a young moroccan)

    • fawzi said, on March 13, 2011 at 17:39

      If you love the king so much, I suggest you get a room or masturbate to his speeches instead of shouting it from the rooftops.

      What you don’t understand is that republicanism is forbidden in Morocco, and anyone who raises questions about the legitimacy of a hereditary regime risks persecution, abduction, torture and jail. It gives the false impression that the king is extremely popular. If you take the time to dig a bit deeper, you’ll realize that a sizable chunk of the population doesn’t care for the Alaouis and their gimmicks.

      In fact, jokes about the king abound if you cared to know what really happens.

      Sure…there are a lot of ultra-monarchists, but even those are increasingly dissatisfied with the reverse gear the so-called progressist king has been stuck on for the past 5 years. And the monarchists’ voices are the only ones you hear because their contenders’ discourse is illegal.

  12. mouka said, on March 13, 2011 at 15:17

    The constitutional reforms promised will be anticlimactic. Only meaningless and superficial changes will be implemented. Morocco was, is, and will be a dictatorship masqueraded as a democracy. Only the king has absolute powers. We are not even citizens, we are subjects of the king. The makhzen is skilled at a couple of things: torture and propaganda. Anytime Moroccans take to the streets to bring attention to some problem, they are met with a brutal repression, beatings and imprisonment. The makhzen never ever addresses issues. When one raises some issue, he/she is accused of being a nihilist, of being an agent of polisario, of algeria or of israel. They all have learned from the same playbook. It’s so predictable that it’s tiring at the end.

    • Minibixx said, on March 13, 2011 at 17:23

      Your vision of Morocco and the King is sooooo old fashioned !

      I raised an issue and manifested for more freedom of speech and to prevent the closing of a political newspaper… I and the hundreds people with me were not hurt or emprisoned and the newspaper is still up and running 8 years after.

      In that newspaper (that’s the has the most readers in Morocco, you can read every week criticism about the king, the monarchy, the government, the moroccan hypocrisies the economical power of the monarchy etc etc…

      So please stop saying nonsense about my country and come here and ask moroccans about how they feel… We don’t need anyone to speak in our place, we take the streets anytime we have an issue !
      Keep your goodwill and your obsolete thinking to yourself.. You’ll do us all a favor.

      • fawzi said, on March 13, 2011 at 20:24

        Monarchy, as a political system, is what is sooooo old fashioned. That’s a fact!

        But hey…you monarchists have every right to speak your mind and make the case for a king that reigns and governs.

        And about the right to demonstrate…did you see what happened today in Casablanca? Tons of people beaten senseless, including journalists and bystanders. Clearly, you have a thwarted view of political freedom and free speech.

        BTW, I’m not surprised that your favorite “newspaper” is Nini’s.

        • Minibixx said, on March 13, 2011 at 22:29

          The ‘peacefull protesters’ were all members of the unauthorized extremist islamist pary that wants to impose Charia in Morocco for the last 30 years…

          Feel free to stand up for them, but no one else will follow you here in Morocco… I’m from Casablanca, just 5 months ago 3 millions of us were on the streets to manifest our strong link to the Sahara !

          Today they were merely 100 persons in Casablanca, all extremists. The PEOPLE of Casablanca were @ Home spending quality time with their Families 😉

          • fawzi said, on March 14, 2011 at 09:45

            Well, well…our resident makhzenist is trying the “terrorist” scarecrow technique. Try again!

            I’m an anti-theist. I despise organized religion. In all its shapes and forms. It is tantamount to mental abuse in my opinion, especially when kids are subjected to it. That said, islamists have every right to make their views heard. For what reason should their party not be “authorized”?

            I know from a first-hand account what happened to the PSU people. And no amount of obfuscation from you will distract us from it. Down with dictatorship! Down with absolutist rule! Give me freedom or give me death! We’re not going to cower in fear like previous generations. We’ll see this through till the bitter end.

        • Minibixx said, on March 13, 2011 at 22:36

          err…. what’s nini ?

  13. Imad said, on March 13, 2011 at 17:05

    The freedom of speech claimed can be very visible in Casablanca today when peaceful protesters have been attacked by the terrorist police. The Moroccans as human beings are great people but they are ruled by some of the biggest thieves on earth. Anybody who does not see this is obviously part of the clique that cleans up the fortune.
    No one argued that freedom of the press is non-existent, you are allowed to open shop and they are allowed to unlawfully bankrupt you. you only have to look at the banning of journalists (like Mr Jamaii), the banning of Aljazeera, Al Massa…)
    It’s a great thing that people can go abroad, get a decent education (absent in Morocco) and then go back to their country of origin. I know many people who did and they are happy. I am also very happy for them.
    But having a good job in a dictatorial country is less valuable to most than having their freedom and doing any job. Think about it.

  14. Imad said, on March 13, 2011 at 17:15

    Freedom of speech, Moroccan style and that’s after the king’s empty speech.

    • Imad said, on March 13, 2011 at 18:00

      Watch the policeman in civilian clothes steal a mobile phone [0:50]. In democratic countries, The head of police of Casablanca, Mustapha Mouzouni would get judged and arrested for this. Not in Morocco.

    • Minibixx said, on March 13, 2011 at 22:35

      Loooool What is THAT video supposed to show ???

      I can show you 100 times worse videos from french or even US Police forces…
      That’s just trying to make things worse…

      It’s easy to make videos with a phone or a camera showing anything out of context and pretend it’s harassement or police violence. We’ve seen that before.

      People who live here know what’s really happening (mostly nothing for the last month…)

      • fawzi said, on March 14, 2011 at 08:30

        The exactions of French and American police are the problems of French and American people. I’m confident that the rule of law ensures proper retribution for abuse of power and misbehaving cops.

        Morocco is another story altogether. The police are only accountable to the ministry of interior (a ministry of so-called sovereignty) and the king. The judicial takes orders from the palace.

        So…don’t ridicule yourself.

  15. Minibixx said, on March 13, 2011 at 22:44

    Here is exactly what happened in Casablanca, if you can read French.

    You should make sure you also read the comments.

    • The Moorish Wanderer said, on March 13, 2011 at 22:47

      the guy run away a soon as the beating started. believe me, if that was exactly what happens, he would have flooded his post with pics. I’d say we should wait for the pictures to be uploaded.

      • Minibixx said, on March 13, 2011 at 23:17

        did you even bother reading what he said ?!
        he’s actually saying the police beat the guys pretty hard !

    • fawzi said, on March 14, 2011 at 08:25

      Anas has the objectivity and credibility of a pot of peas!

      I’d rather read the account of the MAP. At least, they can in theory be held accountable for the shit they spew.

      • Minibixx said, on March 14, 2011 at 10:04

        That’s probably why Moroccans chose his blog massively for years now… Because thay all have the intelligence of a pot of peas …

        • fawzi said, on March 14, 2011 at 17:57

          Because thay all have the intelligence of a pot of peas …

          Your words not mine.

          But as we all know, a thousand lemmings can’t be wrong 😉

          Ad populum fallacy aside, let’s just say that among the community of nations, we haven’t been particularly blessed in education and reasoning abilities. Love of investigation and the thirst for knowledge is just not ranked high in our collective values. The societal norm is actually to discourage free thinkers and skepticism, and in some cases even threaten them.

          BigBrother is all about pandering and demagoguery. He never saw any of the parallels between Orwellian dystopia and his bullshit about Allah. I remember one of his articles where he claimed some Scandinavian tourists in Tunisia were Mossad agents. All the while, the poor saps who were on a hunting trip risked a mob lynching. Said article was heartily shared by our compatriots might I add. I also remember him defend gender discrimination in Morocco, as well as persecution of non-islamic religious groups that preach their faith.

  16. Amine said, on March 13, 2011 at 22:51

    It seems the only royalist in here is Minibixx
    He calls on people here to come visit Morocco and experience first hand the “prosperity” in which Moroccans live assuming that anybody who disagrees with him is either a foreign agent a traitor or a Moroccan who lives abroad and has no clue of the substantial “progress” that his beloved king has achieved after 12 years in throne.
    You don’t have to make that call for me because I already live here and I see each and every single day the misery in which my beloved Moroccans desperately survive.
    Minibixx you either moonlight for the Makhzen or live in the propaganda bubble that they created.
    For the record, the Makhzen is a master when it comes to opinion shaping. They made a clear distinction in people’s mind between the king, the one and only decision maker in the country and his appointed cabinet. People here still believe that all the king’s decisions (His High Directives) are genius but that the government failed to implement them.
    In other words, if it’s good (at first sight only) then the king did a great job and he takes all the credit, if it’s bad (which is always the case) then people blame the bunch of corrupt and incompetent officials (who btw are all appointed by the king himself and their agenda set by him) who failed to implement His High Directives and ask the king for a reshuffle and the story goes on and on endlessly like this.
    To Minibixx and people thinking like him, unless you understand that the king and the government are the same, you’ll keep missing the root cause of all Morocco’s woes.
    I really don’t know if the Makhzen is so skillful at opinion engineering or it’s a piece of cake in a country with 40% literacy rate and those who can read watch state run media.
    The king did not do any good to this country thus far and I’m sure he won’t.
    You were talking about freedom of expression. Seriously?!!
    Oh I see you probably read all those stupid newspaper where they keep complaining about why there are so many fassi fihri in the ruling sphere without mentioning that it was the king who appointed all of them and showed them what to do. One example comes to mind when a francophone magazine published a poll to assess the legacy of the king after 10 years at the helm and the issue was seized and burned and the government spokesman replied that the monarchy is above all debate. Why it’s above all debate and it’s holding all the powers, go figure.
    You said that Feb20 were copying Egyptians, what’s wrong with that. You should instead be thankful to them, because thanks to them the king nearly doubled the subsidies on staples, recruited more than 4000 jobless graduates, set up a new human rights committee, sent his adviser to talk directly to unions (unprecedented in Morocco), and called for constitution amendments. Thanks a lot Feb20 and keep up the good work.
    To quote Goethe, “None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.”

  17. mouka said, on March 13, 2011 at 23:02

    It’s obvious you work for the makhzen. You smell the makhzenian from an ocean away. I can smell the makhzenian from the comfort of my home.
    The fact of the mater is, a hereditary political system is absolutely of a different age. How can you justify someone at the helm of the country without ANY legitimacy except being the son of Hassan 2? How can you justify that?
    I don’t want any crap of the sort: He is the son of a king, or any bullshit of this kind.
    I mean, what legitimacy does he have with Moroccans?
    I have never voted for him, I like him as a person, but I don’t trust his judgment to run a country of 32 million people. He has NEVER proved he could make the right decisions. He was simply lucky by birth.
    Any country that wants to quickly adapt to changing world conditions requires new blood and new visions at the top.
    Our king is anything but, he is the byproduct of a pure makhzenian education, based solely on three basic principles: Corruption, Despotism, and repression.
    I don’t think the king has any legitimacy with people that have an ounce of common sense. Only in a democracy does the heads of state enjoy such a legitimacy, even when almost 50% did not vote for them, they ARE legitimate in the eyes of the majority. And that’s what really matters.
    One last thing, what is this “divine” or “sacred” nature of the king? Doesn’t he crap like the rest of us? Doesn’t he get a cold like the rest of us? Doesn’t he feel pain like the rest of us? What makes him “sacred”?
    The intellectual weakness of these arguments is what separates us. I think that if you truly believe in an “executive” monarchy, then you probably should have been born about 500 years ago.
    Sorry dude, you got it wrong from A to Z.

  18. Minibixx said, on March 13, 2011 at 23:13

    Well except saying I’m makhzen what else have you got ?

    Moroccan king has his legitimacy from history and from the baiy3a of all the moroccan composing tribes…

    The poll that was censored to assess the legacy of 10 years … Yes it was censored, Why ? because the King cannot be put into equation… Most Moroccans agree to that.

    But Why don’t you give the results of the poll ??? 92 % of all Moroccans thought the 10 years of Mohamed VI was Extremely positive or Positive.

    But the most interesting part is that 75% of Moroccans thought he gave too much liberty to Women in the new family moudawana !!! The King is actually more progressist than the people of Morocco.

    Other point : A poll giving 92% support to the king was censored and forbidden when the same week there was an article about the king’s fortune and businesses and none of it was censored… That is hard to grasp if you don’t understand the socio-cultural history of Morocco.

    But just go on insutling me and saying I’m Makhzen, I’m a 31 year old unemployed with a bachelor degree… And I love my King.

    I’m probably the only one here, but that’s not surprising, it’s a Radical Blog isnt it ? 🙂

  19. Minibixx said, on March 13, 2011 at 23:15

    But now it’s late, and tomorrow I wake up early for another week of job seeking.
    So sleep tight guys… And don’t dream too much of a Morocco without a King, not gonna happen any time soon.
    Salam Alaykoum

  20. Amine said, on March 14, 2011 at 00:15


    Have a good night and I really wish you good luck in your journey for finding a job.
    Nobody here insulted you unless you consider being part of the Makhzen an insult which is in a way unsettling.

    As stated before, the legitimacy of a leader comes from the will of the people. Call it bay3a, vote, referendum whatever but the people must have a say which is not the case here. When Hassan 2 passed, his “heir apparent” automatically took over and started touring the country to show people in tv that people accepted him. Which legitimacy are we talking about here unless you have another definition for it?

    You agree that the poll was censored and that “the King cannot be put into equation”, great, then as a result you also agree that freedom of expression is just a joke and is in fact window dressing for US & EU (to get more loans to launch useless projects to show that somebody is working) simply because people cannot voice their disagreement with the entity holding all the powers of fear of being detained.

    Let’s assume that 100% of those who took part in the poll had favorable opinion about the king, well this is simply a mirror reflecting the Makhzen propaganda which I detailed earlier. People just produced what they were taught. Common sense isn’t it?

    Yes the Moudawana came up with sweeping reforms granting women more rights in divorce, child custody, etc. but don’t you agree with me that it’s useless and worthless with a highly decayed and corrupt judiciary system. We all know that many women in rural areas do not have any clue about their rights and are still abused by their husbands.

    Stuff about the king’s fortune ($2.5 billion) gets through censorship (which you consider an achievement lol) simply because it has nothing to do with criticism of the king’s policy. People can start to say the king’s policy is a failure without being put in jail or exiled or shutting down their publication or revoking their license, etc. This is what I’m talking about.

    It’s not about loving the king or not, he’s just a person to whom people forcibly give a big part of their hardly earned income in the hope of an elusive better future for their children.

    This blog is anything but radical, proof is that your posts get through and are not censored unlike the poll in question.

    Please let’s go beyond policy and actions (a new road here, a solar plant there) and judge the direct effects of these policies on people’s lives which is the ultimate goal of any state.

    • fawzi said, on March 14, 2011 at 08:23

      “Nobody here insulted you unless you consider being part of the Makhzen an insult which is in a way unsettling.”

      Ha-ha! Funny how all those who defend the establishment take “Makhzen” as an insult.

  21. greg said, on March 14, 2011 at 08:54

    Hi, I am a journalist and we would like to contact you, would that be ok and how could we do so?

  22. mouka said, on March 14, 2011 at 17:38

    I don’t know what dimension you live in.
    If you wake up and loop for a job, the least you could do is ask the simple question: Why is the job market so f..ked up I have to run around like a hamster and can’t land a job?
    The answer is amazingly simple: Blame the regime, blame “sa ma-jetski”, blame the makhzen.
    Have you noticed an interesting fact on our streets? Any time a group of people take to the streets to voice a concern or talk about some issue, no one meets with them. The only ones that talk to them are the “zarwatate” of “merda”. Is this how a regime solves problems? By beating and torturing their own citizens? I don’t think so.
    Morocco needs some profound changes. Starting with the unlimited powers the king enjoys, followed by a change in the constitution. One extremely important article that needs to be scrapped is the one that talks about the so-called “sacred” nature of the king. He is no more sacred than any Moroccan. He might be special because of his family name, but he is a Moroccan, just like the rest of us.
    Once those powers are taken away, we need to dismantle completely the security apparatus that has specializes in terrorizing Moroccans and take those responsible for it to justice. They need to taste their own medicine. When they were in power, they were quick to put people in prison, beat them up and terrorize them. Now it’s their turn to have a go at tasting the same recipe they served numerous Moroccans.
    Anyway, the intellectual weakness of your arguments tells me you are another sucker working for a regime that imprisons you. It’s an old pattern that is seen the world over. Simple idiots that keep turning the machine that is enslaving them. You are the cogs of the system. You are the hands of the king. You are the instruments that keep him in place. Unless you open your eyes to this simple fact, your relatives will always have problems finding jobs, getting justice, and simply live free in their own country.
    I am so sorry for the like of you. I really am sorry for you.

  23. Imad said, on March 14, 2011 at 20:21

  24. […] North Africa, Politics, Rif. No Comments Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL. « Thank You Your Majesty, But No Thanks. LikeBe the first to like this […]

  25. Imad said, on March 15, 2011 at 22:56

  26. […] was an earlier discussion on why I would oppose the scheduled new constitution. The primary criticism, i.e. the appointment process, can be addressed by introducing a […]

  27. […] and I have the feeling the size of such a win is going to matter more than its likelihood. I referred before to a vote of less than 80% Yes as a defeat. One of the main features our ‘National Consensus’ tenants like to boast about is that […]

  28. […] of those who read past posts know I am voting ‘No’ in any case (save the one when M. Menouni decides to grow some balls and come up with a […]

  29. […] lengthy overview of the new constitution is two-fold: it explains why I stand by my decision to vote against the new constitution, and it describes quite eloquently the new regime we are living under. We have moved from the […]

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