Thursday, July 12, 2012

Moroccan liberals really making a splash

From Albawaba:
Moroccan Justice Minister Mustafa al-Ramid lashed out at a request submitted by a group of activists asking for the legalizing of sexual relations outside marriage and called the initiative a promotion of debauchery.

“Revoking the law that criminalizes sex outside marriage is a propagation of corruption that will deal a fatal blow to Moroccan values,” Ramid said Monday in parliament, answering a question about his response to the sexual freedom initiative.

A group of Moroccan activists called a few days ago for crossing out Article 490 of the Penal Code which punishes every man and woman caught having sex outside marriage even if the couple is consenting adults. According to those activists, adults should have the freedom to engage in sexual relations as long as there is mutual consent.

The harsh criticism directed at this demand was not confined to the parliament, but extended to clerics who saw the call for sexual freedom as a grave threat to the moral and spiritual wellbeing of Moroccans.

The Union for Quranic Houses, affiliated to the Salafi school of thought, issued a statement slamming the sexual freedom initiative which, it said, “came at a time when reformers and wise men are trying to rebuild the country and fight corruption.”

Al Arabiya obtained a statement by Moroccan Salafi Front in which it accused the activists behind the initiative of violating an indisputable law in the Quran.

...The reactions of Islamists, in turn, infuriated liberals. Secular activist Abdul Hamid Amin accused Islamists of ultra-conservatism and narrow-mindedness.

“They just attack anyone who has a different opinion; they want to impose their inflexible ideologies on society,” he said.
Of course, one of the people behind the sexual freedom initiative has gotten death threats:

Abdellah Nhari, an imam in the northeastern Oujda region, who is well known for his controversial pronouncements, declared in a recent sermon that Elmokhtar Laghzioui was a "dayoute," or cuckold in colloquial Arabic, and that in Islam "the 'dayoute' should be killed."

Nhari was reacting to Laghzioui's remarks, on a satellite television channel, indicating that he supported personal, and in particular sexual freedom, even in the case of one's "mother or sister."
And if having people in a Muslim country openly calling to legalize adultery isn't amazing enough...check this out:
A group of Moroccan activists launched a campaign calling for the right to break the fast publicly during the mornings of the holy month of Ramadan, as part of a larger initiative that aims at widening the range of personal freedoms in the country.

‘Mouvement Masayminch’ or ‘We Won’t Fast in Ramadan’ Movement, launched by a group that calls itself Moroccan Free Thinkers, demanded that citizens should have the right not to fast during the holy month, which falls on July 20 this year, and to eat and drink in public.

The anti-fast initiative -- which has been repeatedly launched in different forms for several years since 2008 -- calls for the cancellation of a law that criminalizes the public fast-breaking during daytime in Ramadan.

The movement made social networks as its main podium. “Eat and drink any time, place, or way you choose. Greetings to all irreligionists across the globe,” said the introduction to the movement’s Facebook page.

According to the organizers of the campaign, the main purpose of creating a Facebook page is not discussing religious matters but rather allowing people who adopt the same line of thought and call for the same sort of personal freedoms to get to know each other regardless of what their ideological views are.
This is worth watching.