The Arabist

The Arabist

By Issandr El Amrani and friends.

A couple of items on Morocco

Two quick items I wanted to flag on Morocco:

  1. A long interview of Prince Moulay Hicham (aka the "Red Prince") in Le Debat, in which the rogue royal says that he would wants to see the Makhzen disappear so that the monarchy can survive:

    Après la mort de mon oncle, j’ai continué de soutenir publiquement que le makhzen, c’est-à-dire le pouvoir patrimonial au Maroc, devait périr pour que la monarchie vive et serve les Marocains. Je me suis également prononcé contre le califat, autrement dit contre une monarchie sous l’autorité du «Comman- deur des croyants» mêlant prérogatives poli- tiques et religieuses. Tout cela, je le pense et le défends toujours, à la fois en raison de ce que je suis et à cause de ce que j’ai fait de moi.

     It's cited here but while no one's looking here's the full PDF

  2. A Wikileaks-leaked State Dept. cable sheds some light on why Morocco broke relations with Iran in 2009 — because the Saudis asked:
    Morocco broke diplomatic relations with Iran and began a campaign against its domestic Shi'a minority at Saudi Arabian instigation, according to XXXXXXXXXXXX. According to XXXXXXXXXXXX, Tehran had been using Morocco and its Embassy in Rabat for activities in Mali and Senegal. Domestically, XXXXXXXXXXXX emphasized that the anti-Shi'a campaign was aimed at neutralizing possible challenges to monarchist parties by Islamic groups in upcoming municipal elections. In addition, King Mohammed VI was seeking to reassert his position as a religious leader.

    The full cable is here. I have some skepticism about this explanation alone but of course Saudis were part of the picture.

[Thanks, C. and P.]