Anti-Discrimination Laws Proposed in Morocco
Ribat – Al-Sharq al-Awsat, 22 April 2002. This sort of news almost never gets reported in the West. Yesterday a gathering of Moroccan politicians, cultural figures, and journalists called for strong legislation against racial and religious discrimination in Morocco. They specifically mentioned the difficulties some of the country’s 6,000 Jews have faced during the public backlash, in this largely Muslim country of nearly 30 million, against General Sharon’s harsh reprisals in the West Bank for suicide bombings against Israel. The problems of anti-Jewish prejudice in the Arab world, which sometimes extends to the attempt to resurrect old European myths like the blood libel, are well known. That makes it all the more crucial that we take note when Arab politicians and intellectuals make a courageous stand, as they have here. In a Moroccan context, moreover, this stance also has implications for the country’s Berber minority. It will be interesting to see if this anti-discrimination legislation is introduced and passed.