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Mr. Mustafa Ettoualy is a PHD candidate at the University of Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdellah. He is a researcher with a main consternation in Political Islam and Translation. He published many articles on the issue of Political Islam in Morocco. Mr. Ettoualy has recently published a book entitled “The Islamists and The Moroccan Makhzen: The Emergence of Islam-Oriented Party”.[/symple_box]
Editor’s Note: Taking on the issue of Patriotism versus Treason is the result of being firmly convinced that our beloved country, Morocco is a beautiful land and I just don’t understand why some activists and politicians want to make it full of dirt.
Ifrane, Morocco—What is patriotism? Is it only a strong feeling the one bears towards his or her birthplace, the place of childhood’s adventure and aspirations? Or is it the place where we would sit at our mother’s, or grandmother’s, lap cherished by wonderful tales of great conquests and deeds? Is it the whereabouts where the one watches the fleeting clouds, where the one would count the millions glittering and sparkling stars? Or is it the place where we would listen to the tweeting of the birds while hovering in the sky, and eagerly dream of having wings so to fly? Or is it the place we would play with spinning tops, marbles, hide and seek, Jump Rope? Is it the place where the one lives those experiences of Mohamed Chokri in For Bread Alone, Tom Sawyer and Robinson Crusoe? Or is it the place where our forefathers and ancestors are entombed? Is it the place where you made your first crawls and walks? Or, in short, is it love for the land, every inch representing precious recollections of a happy and playful childhood?
If that were patriotism, few patriots of today could be called upon to be patriotic, since the place of their childhood has been turned into factories, skyscrapers, boulevards, highways, harbors, airports, stadiums, dumps and piles of cement, while deafening sounds of machinery, irrationality, irresponsibility and opportunism have replaced the sound of the nature, purity, sense of belonging, responsibility and patriotism. Nor can we any longer hear the tales of great deeds, for the heroism our grandfathers could tell today are but those of defeat, frustration and grief, with of course some exceptions to that.
Patriotism instead is, as king Mohammed VI said in a recent speech in the Moroccan parliament,“ not some commodity which can be bought and sold, nor does it fall from the sky. It is a noble feeling which comes straight from the heart and is the result of a proper upbringing and strong moral principles. It grows inside the citizen, reinforcing not only his faith but also his sense of belonging to the nation.” Namely, it is an existentialist faith and an attachment to one’s homeland, including a spiritual devotion to the one’s country. It is an innate sincere sense of pride in belonging to a nation that all the people must share as a trait of true believers.
However, there is a category of patriots, or as H.G .Wells preferred to call them in his book “The Future in America: A Search After Realities, “bastard patriots,” people who cling to the idea that Patriotism is voluntary and not compulsory. For them patriotism is a feeling of allegiance but not to their nation, rather to the use of the nation to serve their own interests and to earn a livelihood at the expense of the homeland! Blackmail and extortion become their own deep-rooted doctrine and way of getting an easy life, as King Mohammed VI described in a speech to the Nation on the occasion of the 39th anniversary of the Glorious Green March when saying that “they turned rent-seeking and privileges into an indisputable right and have abused the national cause to serve their own interests.”
These traitors neglect the crystal-clear fact that patriotism means responsibilities and rights. They forget that their welfare, alike their ill-being, is bound together to their nation. They ignore that their ultimate sacrifices have been made by the forefather for the sake of the freedom and independence of their country. Their freedom is one without a commitment to others. “A freedom without love or charity or duty or patriotism, is unworthy of our founding ideals, and those who died in their defense,” U.S. President Barack Obama once said.
“Enough,“ as declared the Moroccan monarch in his last speech to the Nation on the occasion of 39th anniversary of the Glorious Green March. Enough to the exploitation of rights and freedoms with an aim to extort the truth and to conspire against the nation! Enough from the use of mendacious political discourses. It is a prime time to make reasonable analyses and make sure that all political factions show devotion, to bear the torch of serving the nation. The political discourse should always satisfy citizens’ expectations. Enough from rearing children on reliance and looking for the easiest and sneakiest method leading to an easygoing life. It is a prime time that our kids should be raised on self-reliance and live for the others as they live for themselves, since “the best among people are those who are the most useful to others,” prophet Mohammed PBUH said.
It is a prime time for Professionalism and constructive debate. The absence of the aforementioned two traits in one’s daily interactions undoubtedly will root the feeling of separation and antagonism [mainly amongst those opportunists] between national strata. The real danger lurks in when the lay citizen lose his trust in his administration as well as in his nation, which will potentially weaken the internal front of the nation, thus it turns patriots into possible enemies, traitors and timed bombs. The protests of the afflicted people in the region of Sous are an alarming portray of how some Moroccans have started looking at their officials. Mistrust was one of the main factors leading to that protest. If they had known undoubtedly that these officials came to serve them and work for their safety, they would not have protested against them, but they officials did not when leaving the wreckage and their helpless compatriots behind them. As a Moroccan royalist, when I listened recently to Khadija Ryadi, the Human Right Moroccan activist, in an interview she gave to BBC on the so-called “unjust sentences” the criminals involved in the massacre of Gdim Izik so-calledly received, I was shattered. How can she dare to declare that? Is she Moroccan? Does she own a sense of belonging to the country? Does she smell the breeze and air of that nation and drink its water? What about the right of those victims who were slaughtered like animals? Who should defend for them?
It is a very cheap way. They appoint themselves as peace keepers. Morocco always keeps peace and follows the international treaties, taking into account it its history and culture. It does not need mercenaries to dictate what should be done !
Enough as the king said. Enough from the exploitation of those opportunists. Enough from extortions. Enough from those classical methods of surveillance. Enough from the recklessness of some politicians and activists who are jeopardizing the stability of twelve centuries. All Moroccans should know that there are no degrees in patriotism and treason. One is either a patriot or a traitor. Hurry up and canonize yourself!