Why were the moderate Islamists of PJD ousted from power, and how can that change Morocco’s political scenario?
- The great Arab scholar passed away last week. Together with other philosophers, especially Laroui and al-Jabri, he provided a major contribution to framing modernity as a human achievement to which Arab tradition could countribute.
- Two years ago, new and significant socio-economic and identity protests broke out in the northern Moroccan Rif region. Now, Algerian protests have thrust this crisis into the spotlight once again, as well as the other forgotten “trouble spots” that dot the Kingdom and continue to be periodically activated. A symptom of a widespread and simmering popular discontent, these protests are a sounding board for persistent and deep social and regional inequalities.
- Sara Borrillo in her recent book has produced a well-mapped view of the history and types of modern feminisms in the North African country.
- In 2016, Loubna Bensalah walked a thousand kilometers across her country, Morocco, to better understand herself and her fellow citizen women. In 2018, she transformed these marches from personal encounters into collective ones, naming the project: “Kayna [I exist and act, in the Maghreb Arabic dialect, ed]—To conquer public space through women’s marches
- The Arab spring uprising opened the way to public debates inconceivable in North African countries before 2011. Yet, the reaction of the Cairo authorities has been very hostile to “free thinkers”, including citizens who eschew religion.
- Is Daesh really over? Unfortunately not, and the organization can take advantage of the chaotic situations in both Iraq and Syria.
- In recent months the Rif’s ‘people’s movement’ is playing a leading role in Moroccan current events and has been named the Hirāk shaʻabī.
- Two months have elapsed since the Moroccan premature parliamentary elections of November 25th gave an unprecedented victory to the Islamist Justice and Development Party (PJD). The latter won 25% of the seats of the 295 seats of the Moroccan parliament. A victory that many observers of the Moroccan and Maghrebi affairs considered historic, given the unprecedented transparency, and quasi-total impartiality of the “Mother of Ministries”—the nickname of the Interior Ministry during the reign of Driss Basri because of its octopus-like shape and involvement in every aspect of the Moroccans’ life—who supervised these elections. Despite some activists’ lamentation of the negative impartiality of the authorities, none cast any serious doubt on the honesty of their results. This article endeavors to answer some of the pressing questions about the Moroccan political paysage in order discuss the internal circumstances and political calculations that forced the Makhzen—the street name of the whole regime—to cohabit with the victory of PJD despite the relentless war the same regime is waging against the Sufi Justice and Charity Brotherhood. We will also try to see the ability of a PJD-led coalition to effectuate the political change desired by the majority of citizens in the country. 
- Civil society has many roles to play in the few months and years to come in order to keep the democratic momentum in the country, and also keep conviction alive among the youth that democracy is a national need. Democracy does not need regimes; regimes need democracy because it is their only way to stay abreast of the legitimate aspirations of their people and be responsive to them. The highly dynamic and active Moroccan civil society can help in implementing the new constitution and protecting this achievement through: playing their role of watchdog, doing more grassroots activism against corruption and political malpractice, spearheading the political cultural change, fighting all forms of abuse of power and advocating for social justice in the country.Photo by Vesna Middelkoop (cc)