Wide Angle

After slamming individual freedoms defenders, Ahmed Raissouni defends his point of view

Days after he called women who campaign against punishing extramarital relations and abortion in Morocco «immoral», Moroccan scholar Ahmed Raissouni refused to apologize. Furthermore, the former head of the Movement of Unity and Reform (MUR) defended his position.

Moroccan scholar Ahmed Raissouni. / Ph. DR
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Moroccan Islamist jurist and former head of the Movement of Unity and Reform, a social movement branch of the Moroccan Islamist party, is not planning to back down his last statement targeting women who defend individual freedoms in Morocco.  

Interviewed by Arabic-language online newspaper Alyaoum24, Raissouni who chairs the International Union of Muslim Scholars said that «everything [he] wrote in his article is balanced, calculated and goes hand in hand with Sharia».

«I am happy and proud and I thank God for every word I wrote in the article».

Ahmed Raissouni

Undaunted by the wave of anger that he has stirred, Raissouni said that the criticism he received following the article was «satisfying». «This confirms that the article has spoken to people’s hearts, which says a lot about their hysterical reaction», he told the same newspaper.

On the other hand, Raissouni claimed that his statement has been well received in some circles, which, according to him, «admired it and showed support for it».

The Movement of Unity and Reform and its timid reaction

Ahmed Raissouni believes that voices campaigning against punishing extramarital relations and abortion are not a «priority» to him. On the same token, he revealed that he «has his own political calculations (…) I draw my positions from Sharia. I stand for my point of view and I defend freedoms but I resist to subversive pressures from within or from the outside (…) I have fiercely defended the real individual freedoms not the immoral ones that these people are trying to promote».

For the record, Raissouni criticized, Saturday, in an article he published on his website, women who want to amend laws related to «premarital sex and abortion» amid the arrest of Hajar Raissouni, a Moroccan journalist.

«Recently, I have seen immoral women carrying banners in which they admit that they have had forbidden sex and abortions», Raissouni wrote.

The radical position of the scholar on this subject does not seem to undermine the determination of the Movement of Unity and Reform to continue its timid «opening» towards the defenders of individual freedoms. The organization's website is also promoting a conference, organized tomorrow in Rabat, with the participation of M'Hamed El Hilali, both a member of MUR and PJD.

Aberrahim Chikhi, president of the Movement, declared October 11 that «when a group calls for changes to the law, we do not consider it a threat, but as an exercise of their individual freedom under the constitution and the law. Often the religious and Islamist discourse is in direct confrontation with these calls and yet many of these calls are real and should be listened to and examined».

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