10/14/2021, 13.53
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Maghreb: the 'fruitful regression' of Islamic extremism

by Kamel Abderrahmani

The recipe for the defeat of radicalism in power, is allowing it to reveal its demagogy through a period in government. The example of Morocco, where the Pjd went from 125 to 12 deputies and was beaten at the polls. The end of supremacy after 10 years marked by malfeasance and moralism. The Algerian situation.



Paris (AsiaNews) - A regression is a regression, no matter what the nature, fruitful or sterile, it is a loss of time and energy. Fruitful regression, however, seems to give positive results and protects Muslim peoples from violence linked to radical Islamic ideology, such as that experienced by Algeria and which has caused the death of more than 250,000 citizens.

This thesis, dubbed the "fruitful regression", has been developed extensively by Lahouari Addi in his book "Algeria and Democracy". The Algerian academic is a professor of sociology at the Institute for Political Studies in Lyon (University Louis Lumière-Lyon 2) and a researcher at Ceriep (Center for Studies and Research of the Institute for Political Studies) and Gremmo (Group for Research and Studies on the Mediterranean and the Middle East).

The new idea at the base of his thesis is simple and clear: if the Muslim majority society votes for Islamic extremists, we must make them govern for the time necessary for it to understand that the Islamist discourse is nothing but demagogic and radical promises. And that their project of society is not applicable in practice, so that they will end up discrediting themselves and make the Islamist hypothesis sunset definitively. 

In fact, it seems that Moroccans have adopted and embodied this thesis of "fruitful regression". Last September 8, after 10 years in power, the Justice and Development Party (JPD), an Islamist movement affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood, was expelled from power in a democratic manner and through the ballot box: it went from 125 deputies to 12, an unexpected result, given the extent and scope of the propaganda used by Islamists in the Maghreb countries.

In other words, the Moroccan people - as traditionalist as all other Muslim-majority societies - have been deceived for years by a moralistic discourse and by the image of saviors with which the Islamists have been able to cloak themselves, as well as by their instrumentalization of Islam for political purposes. 

On the level of government, these last 10 years have been pathetic at many junctures and the Moroccans, in their great wisdom, have ended up dismissing them after giving them an opportunity five years ago. The impostors have been exposed one after another in matters related to morality, corruption and embezzlement; not to mention the starving behavior of many of their officials and elected representatives at the local level, devoid of any scruples.

Even if this malpractice was cushioned by the system and a few ministers free of their influence, their blatant incompetence has at the same time become their identity license. It is time for all of them to turn the page after the appointment of an executive largely composed of technocrats who are taking back the ownership of some ministries, and of a new government team that can count seven women out of a total of 24 ministers, compared to four of the previous Islamist government.

Can we say that Islamism has been defeated in a democratic way in Morocco? Can we claim it? In my opinion, not yet. Moroccans seem to have grasped once and for all that a democratic state cannot be built in the presence of its antidote: Islamic extremism. In other words, this is what the Algerian tragedy teaches until today, and the Tunisian experience, which so many people continue to cite; moreover, it should be underlined that also in Tunisia the circle is tightening around the Islamist party Ennahda, involved in some cases of corruption. In other words, political Islam in the Maghreb countries is undergoing serious setbacks which, in the end, will bring it to the end of its natural cycle. 

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