“To One Who Has Faith, No Explanation is Necessary. To One without Faith, No Explanation is Possible,” Thomas Aquinas.
Washington, District of Columbia— Fourteen Centuries since Islam has been introduced to Morocco by Arab invaders, and since then, it became the official faith of the land, and a way of life of the vast majority of the nation.
I believe we, as Moroccans, reserve the right to ask after all these Centuries, what new did Arab conquerors brought to Morocco, and what has changed within the social layers of the society and on the ground throughout those fourteen Centuries or so?
Religiously speaking, and after a quick glance at how Moroccans conduct themselves in life, it appears to me that Morocco is still under a pre-Islam doctrines “Jahiliya”, and if anyone fails to acknowledge this, he is living in denial and acting like an ostrich!
Let us ask this crucial question: What are the main characteristics of the Moroccan society nowadays? Basically, we are doing everything God Has forbidden us from: hypocrisy, theft, fraud, bribery, lying, sorcery, abuse of power, and above all, we fear people more than God himself. And despite thousands of mosques all over the country never cease repeating five times a day and loudly, Islam’s most infamous slogan “God is Great”, yet it appears that there is nothing on the ground indicating in any way that God is the greatest entity and contributor in their daily lives. This is clearly reflected in their political, social, cultural and/or any other aspect of life.
Islam as a new doctrine introduced to Morocco was supposed to be the rule and guide of people’s conducts in all their transactions with mankind. But, is it so?
Digging a little deeper in Morocco’s history, even with its official ideological theories, and after fostering Islam as the official doctrine of the land, one can easily realize that Islamic rituals were never applied properly and as described in the Holy Koran and the Sunnah of Prophet Mohammed (PBUH). There were, for Centuries, tribal wars over power and land in Morocco. Islam was used abusively, as an excuse to overthrow an undesirable king, leader or even a dynasty. Islam was merely a tool to justify coups and any actions taken by those seeking power. Fact!
If we look at the cultural impact of Islam in Morocco, besides few historical mosques, minarets and some shrines for those labelled as “holy men”, we quickly realize that there was little to no impact at all to improve moral values of Moroccans. I do not believe that we can see a major impact of Islam on the socio-cultural or political life in Morocco. Islam became just a label.
It seems that those fourteen Centuries of Islamic doctrine in Morocco have been wasted. I am not attacking Islam and blaming it for the flaws, failures and the decline of social virtues, political ethics and economic moralities within the society, not at all, but I rather stress here that the superfluities and vices are in the people. This will make me conclude that either Moroccans were not fully convinced that Islam is the perfect way of life, and were therefore forced to foster it for whatever weird reason, or their faith is so weak and fragile that they could easily go rogue and revolt in favor of what is more favorable and advantageous to their interests.
Now, if the past proved its weaknesses to implement a strong faith and win the hearts and minds of Moroccans, and for Centuries, what shall we expect in the modern days, especially when Islam has been hijacked in an unprecedented way, and has become – yet again – a tool to gain power?
There are really no signs that Islamic groups or parties in the modern days can succeed in achieving what the ancestors have failed to, except if we talk about seizing power and a total control over the masses, then they are carrying the legacy and keeping the torch alight.
I wonder, as many do, why the new generation in Morocco is not as religious as we all might think. What scares this generation off from religion? Why the number of atheists is on the rise and growing? Why we began to notice many young Moroccans converting to other faiths and religions? What did they find in the new faiths that they are lacking in Islam?
The biggest and most dangerous challenge Islam is facing nowadays, not only in Morocco but also in the entire world, is those who supposed to protect it. Many Muslim scholars in Morocco have been working tirelessly to derive religion from its original ritualistic teachings, and use it to control the crowds and keep them intact. Muslims, unfortunately, have become the biggest threat to Islam.
In an attempt to catch up with Western civilizations, Islam has lost its identity and core in Morocco, just like in any other Arab State. Islam has become more like an ideology, a cult, a folklore rather than a Divine Doctrine.
By no mean, I am targeting Islam, not at all, but I tackle a very sensitive and a daring socio-cultural issue in the Moroccan society, which not many can tackle and would rather live with it as taboo. It seems Moroccans have lost their identity; we began witnessing many unprecedented social behaviors, which is strange and contradict the spirit of the Moroccan identity. Moroccans seem to ditch religion; they lost faith in the spiritual force and shifted to the material world. Whose fault it is?
Whoever is responsible for the failure of Islam in Morocco is someone who fears to lose something or wants to gain something, regardless of the nature of that “thing”!
Everyone is begging by the name of religion, people die in the name of Islam, ignorant kids are easily brainwashed and perish in the name of Islam, Muslim scholars issue ridiculous “fatwas” in the name of God and Islam, which Islam and which God?
Our youth is lost. They do not know which path to take anymore. Their lack of a proper understanding of their religion led to one of two outcomes. Either they have ditched religion altogether and become atheists, or they were properly and systematically brainwashed and turn up radicals and fundamentalists. Either way, they have turned to a ticking bomb set to go off at any given moment.
Politicians and religious clergies have conspired to implement a new trend in Morocco and lead the future generations to an uncertainty. The latter will certainly result a frightening lack of confidence in what our youth, and with them the entire nation, hold dear to their hearts: Their Faith!…… And all in the name of Allah!
Mission accomplished… Bravo, well done!
[symple_box color=”blue” text_align=”left” width=”100%” float=”none”]
Dr.Mourad Beni-ich is a Political, Intelligence & Strategic Analyst based in Washington, DC. Mr.Beni-ich holds a BA in Law, a BA in Political Sciences, a MA in Security and Intelligence Analyses, a MA in Global Terrorism and a PhD in International Politics. His studies were pursued in England and the U.S. Mr.Beni-ich began his career as a lawyer working for the British Home Office (The Ministry of Interior) as well as The British Foreign Office. Mr.Beni-ich gave many lectures in the United States regarding the current affairs in the MENA region, both in universities and organizations. Mr. Beni-ich is currently based in Washington, DC where he lobbies for the Moroccan affairs and coordinates with many U.S. officials and Think-Tanks to promote Morocco’s interests, both in the United States and Morocco. You can follow him on Twitter at: @MonarchKnight[/symple_box]