Tuesday, January 26, 2010

About tolerance..

We Moroccans we looove our official myths, yes we do, bloggers included of course.
I am not above my countrymen, and one of my identifiable shortcomings is the sahara. Of course it's Moroccan. why? because it is... i dunnow! The Polisario is bunch of bad guys holding a lot Moroccan citizens in Tindouf who given the chance will gladly comeback to the loving motherland.. it's true wellah.. maybe even not that false.
See I'm Moroccan, can't help it.
But if there is a myth I don't share it's the Moroccans' absolute tolerance of religions. See we are Muslims and we live in peace with Jews.. no, actually "lived" with them, a lot of them. True, they all fled went to Canada, France and Israel but we still have some willing to stay, hundreds of them. maybe a thousand.. or less. But hey, the others, they have none!
But we are tolerant! Sure, if there is a tolerance gene, they will find it here, we have it. No, the specific religions tolerance gene, there must be one for we still hate gays, neighbours, Arabs (real ones) and each other..

Seriously now, last year there was some Shi'a-eat-sunni-babies hysteria going on in the Middle east, fortunately we are supposed to be 99% Sunni malekites because it was all over internet and the media over their and many here were glad to participate in the virtual bashing. I confess a complete ignorance of Shi'ism and not really interested. Last time I shopped for a Camera I was bewildered by the technicalities, so I did like everyone else went with the cheapest expansive looking one. Sunni-Shi'a thing makes me feel the same, luckily I've got already one I barely use so don't need to shop for another.
Well around that time, Moroccan and Iranian diplomats engaged in some diplomatic bickering, ambassadors retrieving and as much dirty talking our diplomacy could indulge in. They made up eventually and we are BFF states again.
So during all this we Moroccans discovered that we have some authentic Shiites of our own, made in Morocco. Remember the 99% Sunni thing? obviously we hadn't enough Jews to fill the 1% remaining, there were some Shi'a too...
So emboldened authorities make some police descents, seize some pamphlets and DVDs, closed a school.. well just enough harassment to make life a little less comfortable, intimidation 101. Meanwhile local media found the golden opportunity to recycle the Shi'a peril theme with plenty of material to steal from. Remember what we said about tolerance?

So when I read the title "Chi'ites, Boudhistes, Hindous, chrétiens et Juifs du Maroc" I am intrigued. The article starts with: "Les non musulmans au Maroc n’ont pas de quoi se plaindre" "the non-Muslims in Morocco have nothing to complain of" and links to an article by some Professor, the whole point of which is to wonder how non muslims can freely worship in this blessed land, the usual. The bloggers move to the Shiia, relates what i said earlier, and concludes, somehow, that indeed we are the proud descendants of the makers of the Andalusi Utopia. Where is the logic? I don't know.

That non-Muslims in Morocco have nothing to complain of is true enough, for beside the precious 1%, there is no other Moroccan non-Muslim minority. And there can't be under normal conditions. The 99% that are Muslims, can't convert, not legally anyway, children of Muslim men are Muslims, non Muslim men have to convert in order to marry Moroccan Muslim women whose children then are born Muslims, and Moroccan nationality is practically never bestowed on a foreigner, assuming anyone would apply for it. The Shi'a don't count, they are Muslims (or so they say).
And of course when you let a foreigner in, you accept his right to freedom of belief too. That Hindus and Buddhists are allowed have their temples and shrines is not something to brag about, it's the bare minimum.

Tolerance indeed.


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