Islamists Push for Second Arab Spring in Morocco

Islamists Push for Second Arab Spring in Morocco

Pro-democracy forces in Morocco claim their Arab Spring did not go far enough and now want to see King Mohammed VI’s powers reduced further to complete the democratic transformation. 

To this end, events are being sensationalized as supporters of Prime Minister Abdelilah Benkirane seek to drive a political and rhetorical wedge between “the people” and the King.

The PM’s supporters claim that Mohammed VI’s year-old agreement to share power with Benkirane’s Islamist Party — the Justice and Development Party — has not really lessened the King’s role in the country’s affairs.

Moreover, they say the new constitution written as a result of that power sharing agreement doesn’t really do anything to spread the exercise of real power to Benkirane or his party. 

Members of the pro-democracy movement say: “We find ourselves with a Constitution that allows us to only pretend that things have changed.”

The well-meaning portion of these individuals and groups are missing a very key point: as with King Abdullah II in Jordan, King Mohammed VI’s hold on power is the only thing preventing wide-scale Islamist chaos.

Some of the Moroccans in the pro-democracy movement get this; arguing that even though the transition has been slower than they wanted, they don’t want a second Arab Spring. They certainly don’t want to look like Syria or Libya.