Frustration over Government Response to Recent Protests

This piece, run by Moroccan internet newspaper Hespress reveals the tension between Morocco's new government (led by the Islamist Party for Justice and Development) and the general population who are frustrated at the slow pace of political and social change.

Bin Sadiq: Al-Ramid's Speech Resembles Bashar al-Assad's

Lawyer Ahmed bin Al-Sadiq compared the words of Mostafa Al-Ramid concerning certain groups' exploitation of recent events in Taza to Syrian President  Bashar Al-Assad's "conspiracy theories" about foreign controlled terrorist groups operating in his country.

Bin Sadiq wrote on his Facebook wall, "The minister didn't mention the names of these groups because, ostensibly, Moroccans know them. Does he himself know who these groups are? Why conceal them if they they are known? And why are his words not being compared with Bashar Al-Assad's statements about the 'conspiracies' of foreign terrorist groups [aiding the opposition in Syria]?"

Media sources reported that at a meeting between Al-Ramid and journalists on Monday night, the Minister stated that, "the recent events in Taza are being exploited politically, and there are groups that want to put Taza under a microscope in order to foment revolution in Morocco."

Al-Ramid added, "Yes, there were social problems in Taza, but to take the matter to the point of using Molotov cocktails, that's unacceptable. To go so far as political exploitation and make absurd claims about the situation, that's unacceptable and untrue. Fabrication is unacceptable just as lying is irrational. There should be no deception about these events. What happened in Taza was a social issue, but there are people who want to take advantage of the situation for their own gain."

Last week, residents of Taza, a city northeast of Fes, clashed with security forces and police during peaceful demonstrations protesting the arrest of four young men accused of destroying government property during riots in the city last month. (read more from Al-Arabiyya here)

Many Moroccans have criticized the government's response to these clashes and other demonstrations. Since November's elections and the installation of the new Party for Justice and Development (PJD) Islamist government, the general line to protesters has been, "Please be patient, we're doing the best we can."

Despite the lack of widespread public support for last Spring's protest movement, many Moroccans feel that it's time for change to happen. The PJD's promise during last Fall's parliamentary election campaign was that they were the party of change, and that a vote for them was a vote for similar political and social reforms as demanded by street protesters in Morocco and throughout the Arab World. It's undeniable that although revolution did not strike Morocco, Moroccans are frustrated with the inequalities and injustices that define many people's daily lives.

While it remains to be seen how effective the PJD will be in delivering on its electoral promises, and will remain unclear for some time, Moroccans expect change soon. The protests in Taza demonstrate this, as do the escalating protests in Rabat, where last month 5 people attempted self-immolation.

The government's most recent response to the clashes in Taza reveals the sensitive situation the PJD finds itself in. Having promised dramatic reforms, it now being surrounded and handcuffed by powers that are reluctant to change the status quo.


Read the original Arabic article here:

Curious how I arrived at this translation? Wait for tomorrow's Anatomy of a Translation, where I discuss the decisions I made during the translation process. As always, discussion and comments are welcome!


  1. yes that wht unfortunately happned in Taza but why should we blame the government all the time, why don't we say that the people become more agressive because they feel like they can use arabs spring to get wht they want for free, the voinlence is not the only way we can we can use in order to get our freedom, we have got very good people working for the community (pjd)no one can deny that they have made some changes we should give them time and help them to fix the situation. WE need to wake up soon and realise it's not perfect for us to destroy wht we have hardly built.

    thank you for sharing !


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