Rabat, Morocco– Khadija El Malki, the widow of Sheikh Abdessalam Yassine, founder of Morocco’s well-known opposition movement Al Adl Wa al Ihassane (Justice and Charity Organization/JCO), a group banned by the Moroccan authorities even though they close an eye on most of its activities due the huge number of members and sympathizers it draws, was laid to rest today in the Moroccan city of Rabat, amid clashes that erupted between the said group’s members, who flocked to Al-Chouhada cemetery in thousands, and the Moroccan authorities who mobilized a huge amount of riot policemen to supervise the burial.
According to local witnesses, including a report in the Arabic language on Morocco’s leading news outlet Hespress, riot police “clashed with hundreds of JCO members and sympathizers after that the authorities did no allow them initially to bury the late next to Sheikh Abdessalam Yassine’ tomb, even though they had received earlier an official authorization for that matter.”
Hespress also reported that various journalists were beaten by the riot police, while others saw their cameras seized.
It is worth reminding that Justice and Charity, which the late Yassine formed in 1981, is an Islamist social organization that contests the legitimacy of the monarchy, though rejecting violence to achieve it goals.
Yassine was pro-monarchy in his early years and only believed in reforming it. However, his views changed drastically and he started advocating for a republic since he saw an open letter entitled “Islam or the Deluge,” he sent to the late King Hassan II aiming reforms refused. He was even incarcerated for six years, before being placed under house arrest as a result. This turning point in JCO’s founder history came as a result to what Moroccans commonly call “Les Années de Plomb/ The Years of Lead,” a very repressive era of history in the 70s and 80s under the late king Hassan II, which various Moroccan political analysts say “it came as a result of the various failed coups Morocco went through in the 70s.”
The Moroccan Times.