Published On: Thu, Apr 25th, 2013

Morocco’s largest Islamist Group Warns of a “Popular Revolt”



By Samira Arabi

Morocco News Tribune

Agadir, Morocco | Morocco’s main Islamist opposition group said the the country is run by a shadow government and warned that the kingdom may be seeing “an explosion” among youths due to the social and economic conditions, AFP reported this week.

In an interview with AFP, Fathallah Arsalane, spokesperson for Al-Adl Wal-Ihsan (AWI) – or Charity and Justice – told the news agency that his movement is willing to be part of Morocco’s democratic transition.

“We believe in democracy and we believe that we could become a political party but the government does not allow it,” Arsalane quoted by AFP.

The Islamist added that Benkirane’s government which was hoped to bring change in Morocco has not done anything so far since it came to power following the introduction of a new constitution.

“There is a shadow government that controls everything, and the members of the current government are nothing more than a front,” Arsalane said.

spokesperson for Al-Adl Wal-Ihsan also said that the government did not live up to its promises to improve living conditions in the country where poverty and unemployment are so widespread.

“The economic and social situation in Morocco is getting worse by the day,” said Arsalane.

It is worth mentioning that in a previous interview with the Associated Press in Feb 6, 2013, Fathallah Arsalane warned that Morocco is at serious risk of a popular revolt if the state doesn’t recognize the demands of the Arab Spring and implement real democratic reforms.

“We can’t predict when the social situation will explode, but what is certain is that all the ingredients already exist,” he added.

Al Adl wal Ihsan, when founded, was calling for the restoration of an Islamic caliphate, but over the years the group has changed its political discourse to be similar to other Moroccan Islamist parties, whose messages are based on the call for democracy and a civil state.

Al Adl wal Ihsane was founded by Cheikh Abdesslam Yassine, the charismatic leader who died at the age of 84, on 13 December 2012 and was succeeded by Mohammed Abbadi.