nonsense, moroccan style

Fourteen Moroccans, aged 22 to 35, none of whom had any prior police records, have been convicted of “satanism” and sentenced to between one month and one year of prison time. Their crime? They listened to or played heavy metal music in local bands. They wore earrings and black T-shirts and had long hair. None of this is a crime under Moroccan law, so how did the prosecutor manage to get away with it? (A complicit judge, that’s how.)
The Moroccan press is having a field day with this. The weekly L’Economiste calls it “a parody of justice” and asks what separates this group from the crowds on a Saturday night in the Maarif neighborhood or indeed in any of the nightclubs in the city. The mag Tel Quel calls it an “inquisition” and has a long expose about all the police violations, and there are many. The charges don’t hold water, even under the most liberal interpretation of obscure articles of the penal code. And to top it off, “satanic” music –if there ever was such a thing–is practically part and parcel of Moroccan culture. Witness the Gnaouas, for example, mystical bands that play music, use drugs, venerate dubious saints, and have done so since time immemorial.
Ugh.

Update: Moroccans have a great sense of humor: A rock concert has been planned by local bands to protest the verdict! Also, rumor has it that the verdict will be thrown out shortly, but I will post a link once I have more info.

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One Response to “nonsense, moroccan style”

  1. abey Says:

    A closer look at this case and one gets a funny stench coming out of this judgement. Whose agenda is such a decision serving?

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