Moroccan anti-normalizers voice anger at Ait Faska’s Holocaust memorial

After it was announced that Ait Faska, a small village near Marrakech, would be home to North Africa’s first Holocaust memorial, several anti-normalizers took to social media to denounce the project. Their angry comments carried on, even after the authorities demolished the memorial.

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The Marrakech Holocaust memorial in Ait Faska before its demolition. / Ph. PixelHelper

Days after a German human rights activist told Yabiladi that his NGO was building a Holocaust memorial in Ait Faska, a village near Marrakech, authorities in the province rushed into demolishing the project, stressing that it did not have the required authorizations.

This was not the end of this story, however it was the beginning of a chapter led by Moroccan anti-normalization voices, which urged the authorities to intervene and prevent further constructions.

Several activists and Islamist figures took to social media to denounce the creation of the «Holocaust Memorial Marrakech», initiated by PixelHelper. In a Facebook post, Aziz El Hannaoui from the Moroccan Observatory Against Normalization denounced the establishment of the memorial.

Anti-normalizers and Ait Faska's Holocaust memorial

«Why don’t we build a memorial for the victims of real Zionist terrorism that targeted Palestinians for 70 years ?», he wondered. Furthermore, El Hannaoui asked, «why is there not a memorial for the people killed by Zionists in 1967 ?»

«Why not build a memorial for the victims of the Israeli Holocaust against the children of Sabra, Shatila, Deir Yassin, Jenin, Gaza and Qana ?», he wondered, adding that Morocco has nothing to do with the Holocaust «to host one of its memorials».

After it was announced that the authorities had razed the memorial, El Hannaoui posted again on his Facebook page saying : «There is no point in destroying the Holocaust memorial ... without revealing the ins and outs of this scandal : how, when, where and how was it carried for one year».

Salafists against the memorial

On the other hand, Moroccan Salafist Hammad Kabbaj commented on the Holocaust memorial on his Facebook page on Monday, referring to the project as «sad news». «How can the state allow this, knowing that we have not yet built a memorial for Palestinians and the atrocities of the Zionist state», he argued.

To Kabbaj, «tolerating this is a crime and a serious violation of national sovereignty», and an attempt to «affect our history, civilization and the elements of our identity».

Moroccan Salafist Hassan Ketani joined the trend, writing on Facebook that «the country has nothing in common with the Holocaust to be home to a memorial», adding : «What a mockery».

Meanwhile, Moroccan Islamist movement Al Adl Wa Al Ihssane took to its official page on Facebook to condemn the construction of the Holocaust memorial. «Did you know that the city of Marrakech, known for its history and civilization, is the city of martyrs and righteous conquerors ?»

The association added that the Red City was the place «from which Moroccan residents and soldiers set off in the largest fleet to support Salah al-Din Ayyubi against the crusade and the order to liberate Jerusalem in 1187».

These statements come after the Al Haouz authorities said in a communiqué that the Holocaust memorial in Ait Faska and the association conducting the project did not receive the necessary permits to build the facility.

On Monday, a live streaming, posted on Facebook by the activist in charge of the project, showed the local authorities demolishing the memorial and its monuments, following the statement.

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