Morocco Calls for Intervention to Protect Mali Shrines
The Moroccan Ministry of Foreign Affairs called [French] on Islamic states and the international community to intervene in Mali to protect the mausoleums of Muslim saints currently being destroyed by militant Islamists in Timbuktu. Citing “the seriousness of the security situation…and its impact on peace and stability throughout the region,” Morocco underscored the needed for “decisive action” to protect the sites it said are critical to the cultural heritage of the Islamic world and of humanity. The Malian government echoed this call in what is the strongest yet in reaction to the recent destruction.
Additionally, the Moroccan rights group the Center for Woman’s Equality launched a campaign to combat parents veiling their daughters as young as 3, calling it “a flagrant violation of innocence and childhood.” The group argues veiling girls between 3 and 10, especially when it is often justified in such ways as preventing the girl from going to hell, is harmful to body-perception and psychological stability. “They will start associating their bodies to shame which has to be hidden and this view contradicts the true essence of Islam,” the group claims.
Also, Mark LeVine criticizes the music stars participating in Morocco’s annual summer music festivals for their silence on jailed Moroccan rapper Mouad Balghouat, known as El Haked, currently serving a year in prison for his politicized lyrics. According to LeVine, headliners like Mariah Carey and Lenny Kravitz ”took their money, said nice things about Morocco – precisely the point of bringing them there – and moved on to the next gig.” LeVine also argues that Morocco’s partial reforms have kept the West silent on these types of ongoing abuses.