Moroccans living in Norway left «in a state of shock» following the Imlil killings

Moroccans living in Norway were deeply affected by the murders of the two Scandinavian tourists. Speaking to Yabiladi, Moroccans settled down in Oslo expressed their feelings of frustration and sadness following the terror crime.

Danish student Louisa Jespersen and her Norwegian friend Maren Ueland./Ph. DR
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Almost one week after the bodies of two Scandinavian tourists were found dead with cuts to their necks near Imlil, a small town located in the High Atlas, Moroccans in the Kingdom and in Norway were left in shock.

The awful acts that targeted Danish student Louisa Jespersen and her Norwegian classmate and friend Maren Ueland, who came to Morocco for a month-long Christmas holiday, were met by a large campaign on social media. Internet users took their anger and frustration to the internet to denounce the tragic killings.

In Norway, Moroccans were also deeply sorry for what happened to the two young backpackers. Speaking to Yabiladi, Yassine Arakia, a Moroccan MP living in Oslo gave an overview of how the Muslim diaspora in the country received the bad news.

In a state of shock

«In Norway we are still in a state of shock», Arakia, a Casablanca-native who has been living in Oslo for 30 years, told Yabiladi. «It is just tragic … we all feel saddened and we believe that what happened was meaningless», Arakia added.

To the politician, the most important thing people must do is to think of the victims' families, show them compassion and stand with them following this horrible events. «It's been almost one week now, and we are still unpleasantly surprised by what happened, especially after receiving that graphic video», stressed the man.

Arakia believes that sharing the video in question, which allegedly depicts the murder of one of the two tourists, is an «awful thing to do».

«I don't want to share it, I don't want to be part of that and I encourage people to do the same», argued Arakia. «I strongly believe that internet users must respect the families of the two victims and refrain from participating to the circulation of it», he added referring to the video currently investigated by the Moroccan authorities.

However, Yassine Arakia hailed the way in which Moroccans reacted to the hideous crime on the internet. Their reaction was highly appreciated by Norwegians, reported the politician. «There have been a series of articles on Norwegian newspapers highlighting the very touching way in which Moroccans showed love and compassion for the Norwegian people and the families of the victims», Arakia said.

Feeling ashamed

Meanwhile in Oslo, Mohamed who is a member of the Moroccan Norwegian Association, explained to Yabiladi how the tragic events affected Moroccans living in Norway. «It is saddening to say the least», Mohamed told Yabiladi on Friday.

«People here are very sensitive, and when an animal is killed in the Scandinavian countries people grieve and feel sad but hearing about this disgusting crime was just too much to handle», explained the man.

Mohamed, however, stressed that acts like this one affect Muslims and Moroccans living in Norway. «I must admit that whenever there is an act of terrorism that involves Moroccans anywhere in the world we get deeply affected», he argued.

«Fortunately, some people are open-minded and they get to understand that we are not all the same but still it is shameful to think that those who committed the crime are Moroccans».


Mohamed and members of his association are planning to pay tribute to the two victims, a tradition they have been accustomed to do since the Brussels attacks in Belgium. «When we learned about the terror attacks we went to the Belgian embassy in Norway and presented our condolences», reported Mohamed.

For him, Moroccans in Norway are obliged to do something in order to show others that they are «sorry about what happened in Morocco». However, Mohamed believes that the Imlil terror crime doesn't represent Moroccans nor Islam.

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