A counter-petition launched to denounce «sexual freedoms» in Morocco

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Amid a debate on individual freedoms in Morocco, initiated by the arrest of Moroccan journalist Hajar Raissouni and the signing of a manifesto against punishing extramarital relations and abortions, a counter-petition emerged last week.

Entitled «Moroccans against sexual freedoms», the petition started on Saturday October 19, and signed by around 7,200 people, is launched to address «the current debate on individual freedoms» and respond to some «outlaws» who are calling for some «freedoms that are contrary to the law, public morals and constitutional authority».

The counter-petition was launched by the «Mawada Foundation for Family Development», a local non-governmental organization based in Rabat, and posted on a platform called

In its petition, the aforementioned association stresses that it is important to «distinguish between individual freedoms that go hand in hand with the constitution, laws and society and sexual freedoms that refer to damaging behaviors, such as legalizing fornication, marital infidelity, homosexuality and abortion».

To the same NGO, «only the principles of Islam» are capable of securing «rights and laws» in the Kingdom and the country is not interested in «importing foreign agendas». Furthermore, the NGO insisted in its petition that Morocco is a «Muslim country» and will remain so, referring to «moderate and open Islam» and rejecting «extremism».

This petition came to counter a first one, signed earlier in September, by a number of Moroccan women and men, including known figures in both Morocco and France.

The latter made headlines amid the arrest, trial and release of Akhbar Al Yaoum journalist Hajar Raissouni, who was sentenced to one year in prison late September on charges of «illegal abortion» and «sexual relations outside marriage» and granted royal pardon earlier in October.

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