Valin Posted August 5, 2014 Share Posted August 5, 2014 Strategy Page: August 5, 2014: Of all the Arab countries Morocco has had the least problems with Islamic terrorism. There are several reasons for this. First there is geography. Morocco is the westernmost (from Arabia) Moslem country and like the easternmost nation (Indonesia) is least affected by the Islamic radicalism that arose in Arabia in the 7th century and has survived there ever since. Then there is the ethnic factor. While Morocco is nominally an Arab country most of the people were originally Berber, the people native to North Africa for over 40,000 years. Many Moroccans are aware of their Berber ancestry and take pride in it. Berbers resisted, often successfully, the initial advance by Arab Moslem armies and while most eventually converted to Islam, they tend to wear their religion lightly and are not considered the best recruits for Islamic terrorist groups. Yet Islamic radicalism and Arab nationalism still appeals to some young Moroccans but not nearly as many as in other Arab countries. At least a thousand Moroccans are fighting with rebel groups in Syria and since September 11, 2001 thousands of local Islamic radicals have been arrested in Morocco. Most of these were freed largely because they had decided to abandon and avoid Islamic radicalism and actually did so. The main Moroccan antidote to Islamic terrorism is an ancient monarchy that follows the moderate Malikite form of Sunni Islam. Most North Africans are nominally Malikite but outside of Morocco a greater number are tempted to sample the much more radical Wahhabism from Saudi Arabia. In Morocco the ancient monarchy was always at the center of Malikite worship. The last two kings (Hasan II 1961-99 and Mohammed VI from 1999 to the present) have encouraged democracy and good government as well as adherence to the moderate Malikite Islam. For example the current king has had over 1,600 Malikite religious teachers trained since 2006 and sent them to the 50,000 mosques throughout the country to show local clergy how to better serve their congregations and resist the temptations of Islamic radicalism. This program was in response to radical missionaries sent to Morocco by Saudi Arabia and Iran in the last decade as well as the radical propaganda spread by the Internet and Arab language satellite news channels. (Snip) Meanwhile Morocco helps other North African and Sahel countries deal with Islamic terrorism. Morocco sends religious teachers and is always ready to discuss specific problems that Morocco had already taken care of at home. One problem Morocco has handled well is economics. Without oil Morocco has prospered by making it easy to start and operate businesses and resisted the temptation to nationalize sectors of the economy. While Morocco does not have the highest per-capita GDP in North Africa it recognized as having the best quality of life. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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