‘Free’ Speech in Morocco

A brief opinion piece I wrote about freedom of speech in Morocco appeared in Saturday’s New York Times. Its starting point is the lawsuit that was brought against the magazine Nichane (which I’ve mentioned previously on this blog) and the denouement of the case involving Aboubakr Jamai and his magazine Le Journal Hebdo (also mentioned briefly here). Here is an excerpt:

In the United States, Morocco is often seen as a liberal country and a bulwark against Islamic extremism. Certainly, the reforms that have taken place over the last few years, particularly in terms of women’s rights, are steps in the right direction.

But while the court cases against independent news magazines like Nichane, Le Journal Hebdomadaire and several others are within the bounds of Moroccan law, they appear to single out the independent press, to the exclusion of more partisan publications. These cases highlight a particularly troubling pattern, in which the regime represses the progressive voices it claims to champion

You can read the full text of the op-ed at the NYT site.