The nation of Morocco is known as a hotbed for the creation of recruits for terrorism. However, Morocco has not had a significant attack on its country since 2011. The last terrorist incident or attack happened when there was a bombing of Marrakesh café. Many ISIS attackers in Europe have been Moroccan Islamic terrorists. It may feel offensive to some, but this is true.
The only purported survivor of the 2015 Paris rampage is the Moroccan-Frenchman. The Brussel airport and tram bombings were coming from the ethnic Moroccans. Same with the suspected driver of the van who drove over shoppers in Barcelona: Moroccan ethnic background.
Since 2012, 1,600 Moroccans have joined mostly ISIS and some other fledgling terrorist groups. Although it does not compare to the 7,000 coming from Tunisia to join the terrorist organizations, the public debate is around the ways in which to prevent the embrace of radical Islam on young minds.
The Atlantic said, “Germany, Britain, and Belgium have developed programs that focus on further integrating radicals into their community. Saudi Arabia, on the other hand, focuses on finding jobs and wives for recruited jihadists.”
As with gangs, once an individual has joined, it becomes nearly impossible to get them out. They are now part of an organization devoted to extremist ideologies and terrorist acts. Under the Obama Administration, the article states, there was the CVE (Countering Violent Extremism) approach that focused on community leaders and groups rather than government officials in order to combat the extremism and potential terrorism.
The Trump Administration has defunded some of the programs devoted to counter-extremism. But there are many other programs that have taken on the tasks. There are those in Morocco who continue to fund similar initiatives as those found under the Obama Administration with the prevention of extremism and terrorism through the community leaders and groups.
To be clear, ISIS attackers with Moroccan backgrounds are bad. Moroccan initiatives to prevent extremism or terrorism are good.
One Moroccan counter-extremism initiative comes with an emphasis on women. At the elite new school, L’Institut Mohammed VI Pour La Formation Des Imams, Morchidines, et Morchidates, there are religious scholars being training in order to take on the radical Islamist pockets of the country.
Those little enclaves on the Moroccan landscape are known to be prime recruitment ground for disenfranchised youth to join the extremists. It is through the utilisation of spiritual teachings and guidance in order to reach them and prevent further recruitment into the extremist and terrorist organizations.
Each trained woman is a spiritual guide. The program director, Abdeslam El-Azaar, said, “I’ll tell you frankly, the women scholars here are even more important than men. … Women, just by virtue of their role in society, have so much contact with the people — children, young people, other women, even men. ... They are the primary educators of their children. So it is natural for them to provide advice. … We give them an education so they can offer it in a scholarly way.”
Photo Credits: IBTimes