We’ve all heard of the fictional “moderate” Muslim. Now it’s time to meet a double fiction: the “moderate Islamist”.
The BBC news reporter in this clip falls all over himself in his eagerness to reassure viewers about the results of Friday’s election in Morocco. The party that got the most seats in the election may be “Islamist”, but really, it’s not all that bad. No need to worry. Everyone can go back to sleep.
Many thanks to Vlad Tepes for uploading this video:
By the way — did you notice the woman in this report who had to show an unveiled photo ID in order to be able to vote? I always thought such practices were examples of racism.
The moderately extremist party in question is the Justice and Development Party (PJD). According to Wikipedia, “It should be noted that the Moroccan PJD is less liberal and modern than the Turkish AKP.” The AKP is, of course, the party of Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who has been Islamizing Turkey since 2001. Mr. Erdoğan famously said, “The mosques are our barracks, the domes our helmets, the minarets our bayonets and the faithful our soldiers.”
And the PJD is “less liberal” than the AKP. Yet the BBC says we have nothing to worry about, so how can we help but be reassured?
The Beeb wants us to know that the “moderate Islamist” party is really just about fighting bribery and corruption, and is not “extremist”. However, the PJD’s secretary-general, Saad Eddin Al Othmani, said in an interview [pdf] that “many of our efforts, such as combating bribery and corruption, are based in sharia.”
Another report tells us that
PJD’s agenda in parliament has occasionally taken it into pure sharia territory — calling for prohibition against alcohol consumption and distribution, and challenging media that it views as defacing Islamic principles.
So I’m going to hold off being reassured until I get some information that’s actually reassuring.
Details of Friday’s election results were reported by AGI:
Morocco: Pro-Islamic Party Gets a Quarter of Seats
(AGI) Rabat — The Moroccan Islamic moderate party PJD (Party of Justice and Development) is ahead in the counting of votes for the legislative elections that were held on Friday. The data were announced by the Interior Minister Taib Cherqaoui in a press conference around midday. After completing the counting in 288 out of a total of 305 polling stations for the local circumscriptions (that is without the single list valid for the other 90 seats), PJD has already 80 (28.5%) deputies, followed by Istiqlal (centre-left, 45 seats) and by the National Union of Independents, its major rivals. The Party for Authenticity and Modernity got 33 seats, the Socialist Union (USFP) 29, the Popular Movement (MP) 22, the Constitutional Union 15 and the Party for Progress and Socialism (PPS) 11. Other smaller parties got a total of ten seats. The polling stations counted up to now are 73% of the total and final results will not be anounced before tomorrow, Cherqaoui added. According to the Moroccan constitution, passed by a referendum on July 1st, King Mohammed VI will call to rule the country the party winning the elections. The trend is in favour of PJD.