More royal than the King?

The current head of government merely executes decisions; he has no concern for the wider repercussions of his decisions, which after all merely serve one segment of society. The PJD has become a party that protects the interests of the elite, rather than the masses from which the majority of its leaders originate. Yet it was the people who voted for the party in three consecutive elections, despite the establishment using every trick in the book to try and dissuade them from doing so.

And what about the Islamistsʹ record on human rights? In a number of cases, the PJD has not hesitated to justify repression or legitimise the Stateʹs transgressions (e.g. the protests in the Rif and Jerada). Indeed, their justifications have reached such a point that they even questioned reports on the Rif protests issued by official institutions such as the National Human Rights Council. The Councilʹs report confirmed that human rights had been violated and demonstrators subjected to torture.

As regards the political trial of the fiercely independent journalist Taoufiq Bouachrine: in the past he had come to the Brotherhoodʹs defence with courage and boldness, giving them coverage in his newspaper at a time when the deep state was ganging up against them through the tabloids (funded by various well-known countries in the region). They could have done a lot more than simply ask that he be given a fair trial, at a time when he was suffering injustices on many fronts.

The issue of contract teachers and their demands to be given permanent jobs in the public sector has morphed into a real dilemma from which the Islamists are trying to extricate themselves. During their first term in office they supported the idea, claiming that it was a strategic choice and a magical solution to the problems of public administration in Morocco.

Subsequently, they abandoned it, saying that contract work was the only solution to human resources problems in certain sectors. This climaxed in the Islamists halting any discussion of the issue, after which the Moroccan education system was haunted by the spectre of a ʹwhite yearʹ (i.e. the halting and abandonment of the academic year midway through) for months.

Farewell to the ʹOthmani Brotherhoodʹ

The Makhzen is determined to inflict the same punishment on the PJD as was suffered by the Socialist Union of Popular Forces, after the latter participated in the coalition government. They drowned them in procedures and decisions, which ultimately led to a massive slump in the partyʹs popularity.

The so-called ʹOthmani Brotherhoodʹ, named after Saad-Eddine El Othmani, the Secretary General of the PJD, remains seemingly unconcerned by the machinations of the establishment, preferring to concentrate of the 2021 elections. In the process, they are seeking to accommodate regional boundary changes and shifts in power within the deep state.

In short, it is the beginning of a tragic end for the Muslim Brotherhood in Morocco. They raised the hopes of many, only to eventually become part and parcel of the state machinery. In justifying the unjustifiable, they have effectively become more assimilated that the Makhzen itself.

Mohamed Taifouri

© 2019

Translated from the Arabic by Chris Somes-Charlton

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