ROYAL FORUM: Morocco's Steady Path Towards Democracy


ROYAL FORUM: Morocco's Steady Path Towards Democracy
by Darius Kadivar

In the ensuing years, Morocco has moved further along thereform road than any of its Arab neighbors. Its press is vibrant and outspoken.An 18-month-old family law no longer treats women as male chattel. Voluntary organizations can be formed with relative ease, and scores of them work oneverything from improving prison conditions to raising the country's abysmal illiteracy rate.Yet that entire system of law rests not on a framework ofchecks and balances but on the whim of the king. Morocco's constitution declares the king both sacred and the "prince of the faithful." Other Arab constitutions do not declare the ruler holy, but an official reverence cocoons virtually every president or monarch in the region. Anyone whochallenges the ruler does so at his own péril.

It is a fact that raises a central question here andacross the Middle East: What is needed to turn states of despotic whim intogenuine nations of law? In Morocco, an essential first step, many reformersbelieve, is an open reckoning with the abuses that this system spawned in thepast.

To this effect an official Equity and ReconciliationCommission, was established in 2004 by the young king, Mohammed VI, to lay barewhat Moroccans often call the terror of his father's rule and to establishreparations for about 13,000 victims who suffered under the 38-year rule of thelate King Hassan II.

The commission's public hearings, were without precedentin the Middle East. Royal advisers point to them as evidence of how far alongMorocco is on the road to democratic transformation.

Hassan II was viewed as a dark, Machiavellian figure. Mohammed VI is seen asfar more concerned with humanitarian issues, yet not once since assuming thethrone in 1999 has he ever suggested diluting his role.


France 24 coverage of Morocco’s Parliamentary Elections in 2007 amidst controversy over intimidations:


Euronews Women's rights in Morocco :

The European Union is now shifting itsfocus to the Euromed nations and Morocco stands out as a country which is nowdemanding 'special status'. Human rights, particularly towards women, is onearea of focus now for Morocco's new government, but is it having much impactwith Brussels?


Moroccovotes: Slums breeding extremism - 05 Sept 2007 (Al Jazeera) :

One of the biggest issues in Morocco ispoverty and all of the country's political parties are promising to tackle theproblem ahead of elections.

Slums are a common sight in the cities of thekingdom and some have become a breeding ground for extremism.

Al Jazeera'sZeina Awad sent this report from the Sidi Moumen slum in Casablanca.



Riz Khan - Morocco's Prince Moulay Hicham - 03 Oct 07 :

A member and close cousin of the King ofMorocco speaks about the necessity

ofhaving a purely Constitutional Monarchy



Opinion poll on Mohammed VI 'illegal', says minister (France 24, August 2009):

Morocco'sMinister of Communication Khalid Naciri explains the government's decision toban two magazines which published an opinion poll on the first decade of rule from the north African country's King Mohammed VI.



Recommended Reading :


Morocco's march to democracy rests on king's whim by Neil Macfarquhar (NY Times)


Related pictory:

CrownPrince of Morroco (Today King Mohammad VI) at Iranian Embassy (1977)









Miscellaneous Excerpts of Documentaries , Interviews on Morroco






Assassination Attempts against King Hassan II:


Part of a French documentary takes an intimate look at King Hassan’s reign and shows different assassination attempts against him,human rights limitations and the failed  attempted Coup by General Oufkir and the geo politicalchallenges of his kingdom




King of Morocco " There is No Such Thing as a Secular Islam" :

King Hassan II of Morocco in which he briefly explains why it is an illusion to think there ever can be a"secular" Islam (sometimes called a "European Islam"). Inshort, Islam is incompatible with Western secular rule of law. Indeed, HassanII, King of Morocco from 1961-1999, suggests that a secular Muslim is not aMuslim simply because "a Muslim can not be secular".


The Late King Hassan II meets French Journalists in Rabatfor a Special Edition (1989):

The King was questioned on many issues including Human Rights violations

Part I :




Part II :





Photo Essay on The History of Royal Family of Morocco :


The royal family of the North African Kingdom of Morocco is the Alaouite dynasty which has ruled the country since 1664 when Mulay Muhammad al-Rashid bin Sharifwas proclaimed "Sultan of Morocco", uniting the country under hisrule. Mohammed V changed the title from sultan to king in 1957. Since 1999 themonarch has been King Mohammed VI who succeeded King Hassan II.


French President Sarkozy invited to speak at the Moroccan Parliament :

Barack Obama talks about Morocco :


Morocco January 1944 : De Gaulle’s as leader of theFrench Government in exile meets Winston Churchill and review troops inprésence of the Pacha of Marakeche :

(NOTE : NoSound from INA Archives)




SultanMohammed V greeted by De Gaulle Upon France’s Liberation from Nazi Occupation June 1945 :



Return of King Muhamad V and the smooth indépendance of Morocco from French and Spanish Domination :

(NOTE: To Watch Clip Double Click Here )


Territory of the Kingdom of Morocco Through History:














Morocco Seen through the lens of Hollywood and European « Orientalism »





Morocco’s International Film Festival :


Marlène Dietriche and Gary Cooper in film« Morocco » :


Trailer for « The Man Who Knew TooMuch » (1956) :


Directed by Alfred Hitchcock starring James Stewart and Doris Day

Chase Scene in « The Man Who Knew Too Much » :


(INTERESTING ANECDOTE : The Man who gets killed is French Star Daniel Gelin who was to play the Role of

The Shah of Iran in a Canadian Series Iran : Daysof Crisis (1991) based on the Hostage Crisis as depicted by American diplomat John Limbert)

The Adventures of Tintin - The Crab With The Golden Claws:

Related Blogs:

Tunisia could benefit from bitter lessons of Iran’s clumsy '79 revolution

THE PAST IS A FOREIGN COUNTRY: How Would You Evaluate Iran's Democracy Index in 1953 ?


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ROYAL FORUM: Crown Prince of Serbia Seeks to Restore The Monarchy       

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ROYAL FORUM: Behind the Scenes of Queen Elizabeth II's Coronation in 1953  




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