Maghreb blog review
It all started with Amina Talhimet's lengthy editorial blog about the final report published by the Equity and Reconciliation Commission (ERC). The commission was set up by King Mohammed VI in January 2004 to investigate forced disappearances and arbitrary detentions carried out by Moroccan authorities in the last half century. After nearly two years of investigations, the ERC recently submitted its final report and recommendations.
It was not the recommendations that caught Talhimet's interest and respect, but what some of the victims had done when given the chance to ask for reparations for the suffering they experienced. "These people are the real heroes, do you know that some of them [the families of victims] did not ask for any sort of reparation and have even refused to divulge the names of their executioners. Their courage, to me is a sign of hope and pride for this country," She noted.
"It was certainly not easy for them to forget, nor was it to forgive. The only assurance we all have now that things will change is this breeze we all feel and we hope is bringing change, a state of law and justice along with it," Amazigh added.
The genuine euphoria and goodwill did not extend to Omar, who said, "Do you really think that the victims had a choice? For me, this is just faux justice, they have to be punished. There is one justice and it is not compromising."
Iskander feels the real distress is what Muslims in Europe endure day in and day out because of cultural stereotyping. "Muslims in Europe are suffering from growing racism and lack of understanding. Commentaries about Islam are revolting not because of their racist connotations as much as it is because of their degree of ignorance … However, ignorance is easier to relinquish than racist ideologies … [We] just have to take care of the existing cultural loopholes … our role as Muslims is to seduce and not scare … We have to give the real image of Islam so that people like Bin Laden and disciples are no longer the exclusive representative of Islam in the West," he stressed.
While Hannibal agrees with the fact that Muslims and Arabs are unwillingly carrying around cultural labels, he clarified where they are generated. He alluded to a talk given by Professor Jack Shaheen before the signing of his book "Reel Bad Arabs: How Hollywood Vilifies People". Hannibal explained that according to the professor, with "the tendency to portray Arabs and Muslims as a public enemy through multiple 'vicious' stereotypes". Hannibal noted recent films he had watched such as Stephen Gaghan's "Syriana" and Steven Spielberg's "Munich" and "succeeded to some extent in confirming, former Motion Picture Association of America President Jack Valenti's assertion that 'Hollywood and Washington sprang from the same DNA'."
In closing, Moorish girl wrote, “Strange times [we live in], when we constantly have to point out the obvious: If Muslims want democracy, they'll get it for themselves. I bring this up because I just read Reza Aslan's opinion piece in the Los Angeles Times," on a form of democracy in the early 14th century under the Prophet,” she concluded.
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