Tamazgha states nations
 Algeria
 Canary Islands
 Libya
 Marocco
 Mauritania
 Niger
 Tunisia
 
 CMA
 Petitions
 

 

Morocco: To Berber or Not?


 


By MUSTAPHA AJBAILI

Al Arabiya


A royal speech termed historical by state media and political parties in Morocco has opened the stage for a war of words over the status of the country’s indigenous Amazigh language, also known as Berber, in an expected new constitution.



Following his speech March 9, Moroccan King Mohammed VI formed a handpicked committee to draft a new constitution, which he said should recognize the Amazigh language.



But, as the saying goes, the devil is in the details. While some political parties and civil society groups suggest that the ancient language be recognized in the constitution as “national,” others insist it should be placed on equal footing with Arabic by giving the “official” designation.



The ruling Istiqlal party, which has worked since independence from France and Spain in 1956 to institute a policy of Arabization, has called for recognizing the Amazigh language and culture “as part of the Moroccan national identity.”



Mohamed al-Khalifa, a member of the party’s executive committee, said the language should not be recognized as official because “it would be difficult to apply it on the ground.”








Berber activists hold the Moroccan flag during a protest. (File photo)




He criticized the demands of Amazigh activists as “political exploitation of the Amazigh issue.” He claimed that his party was the first to defend the Amazigh cause and it is the only one that represents the Amazigh people in the parliament.



But Ahmad Assid, an Amazigh activist, rejected these claims and accused the Istiqlal party of “racism” and “chauvinism.”



“The Istiqlal party worked for 50 years to kill the Amazigh language and identity through the implementation of various Arabization policies,” Mr. Assid said.



“We want Amazigh to be an official language similar to Arabic and not simply a national language,” he added. “Granting the language official recognition in the constitution means granting it judicial protection …. It will become the responsibility of the state to protect this language from extinction.”



The moderate Islamic opposition Justice and Development Party first called for recognizing the language as “national.” But amid fears this position could cause its large base of supporters to erode, the party recently called for the language to be recognized as an “official” instead.



An estimated 40 percent to 45 percent of Morocco’s 32 million people speak one of the three main Amazigh dialects, according to government figures. Independent sources say the percentage of the Amazigh people in Morocco is much higher.



Morocco consists of Sunni Muslims of Arab, Berber or mixed Arab-Berber ancestry. The Arabs brought Islam, along with Arabic language and culture, to the region from the Arabian Peninsula during the Muslim conquests of the 7th century.



Today, a small Jewish community and a largely expatriate Christian population live in the country. Arabic is Morocco's official language, but French is widely taught and serves as the primary language of commerce and government. Moroccan colloquial Arabic is a combination of Arabic, Berber and French dialects.



Along with Arabic, about 10 million Moroccans speak one of the three Moroccan Berber dialects -- Tarifit, Tashelhit and Tamazight). Spanish is also used in the northern part of the country. English is rapidly becoming the foreign language of choice among educated youth and is offered in all public schools from the fourth year on, according to InfoPlease.



(Mustapha Ajbaili of Al Arabiya can be reached via email at: Mustapha.ajbaili@mbc.net)


from : http://english.alarabiya.net/articles/2011/04/09/144873.html



Auteur: MUSTAPHA AJBAILI
Date : 2011-05-04 08:14:00


Follow us on Facebook
 

 
Communicate
Share on Facebook
 
 
Articles of the same author
Invite someone to read this article
Article read 15943 times
Subscribe to our Newsletter

your email here:

 

Readers comments : NB: Please note that the comments represent the views of their authors and that AmazighWorld don't endore them

 
Glad I\'ve finally found smoething I agree with!  
Glad I\'ve finally found smoething I agree with!  
Par: Luckie
 

 
Gee whiz, and I tohhugt this would be hard to find out.  
Gee whiz, and I tohhugt this would be hard to find out.  
Par: Wind
 

 
- I visited Morocco in the High Atlas monatuins and trekked through many of the villages in the Imlil area and your photos capture the spirit of this  
- I visited Morocco in the High Atlas monatuins and trekked through many of the villages in the Imlil area and your photos capture the spirit of this area exactly as I remember it. Amazingly diverse country and some of the friendliest people I have ever met.I have a photo of an impromptu lunch in one of the mountain villages. One of the guys in our group happened to know somebody in the village and we sat on carpets under the shade of big walnut tree in their back yard while the women used the food we brought and added some of their own to prepare a delicious lunch for everyone. Great experience!!!!  
Par: Andranik
 

 
Your comment here :
Name
Email
Title
Comment
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

More from AmazighWorld :

 
Movement on Road 96 -Imider- Will commemorate the seventh anniversary its birth
On Thursday, 2 August 2018, the Movement on Road 96 will commemorate the seventh anniversary of its birth that has been organizing the peaceful protests of Imider population since August 1, 2011, so as to defend their socio-economic and ecological rights and Against the marginalization and exclusion imposed by... Full story - - Auteur: Movement on Road 96 - Date : 2018-08-05 23:08:00

 

 
Khaled Mashaal excited Moroccan Amazigh people to renew the call of the Moroccan withdrawal from the Arab League and its refrain from the Persian Gulf region conflicts
Rabat - According to a speech statement issued by a former Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal and the actual member of Hamas political office at the headquarter of the Moroccan Justice and Development Party (DJD), on Tuesday, December 26, 2017, the National Federation of Amazigh Associations of Morocco (FNAA) issued a press statement condemning what it called "the hostility of the Islamic Hamas organization to the unity of Morocco and its Amazigh identity". The statement questioned the good will of the Moroccan national organizations which have a relationship with the Palestinian organizations, which according to the statement has ...... Full story - - Auteur: Amazighworld - Date : 2018-01-04 20:50:00

 

 
Amazigh International NGO :Gravely concerned over the continuous repression in the Rif region in northern Morocco
Your Excellencies,
We, the undersigned international, regional, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), write to share our serious concerns about the deteriorating human rights situation in Rif, a region of Morocco located in the North part of the country lived by an Amazigh-Berber- population, known for experiencing a long history of marginalization, neglect, and brutal repression.
... Full story - - Auteur: Amazigh International NGO - Date : 2017-06-21 00:46:00

 

 
Morocco: Amazigh praises Trump and reminds him to honor his commitments to eradicate sources of terrorism
In its press release issued on Nov 10, 2016, the national federation of Amazigh Associations in Morocco (FNAA) had sent a letter ? one copy of which is received by Amazighworld website - to the new US President Donald Trump to congratulate him on his democratic election as head of the US Executive. The Federation also reminded the US President to keep its commitments in the fight against terrorism. The statement said: "during your electoral campaign you promised the American people and through it to the different peoples of the world to eradicate the roots of this radical and murderous Islamic ideology”. The full press release follows:... Full story - - Auteur: Amazighworld - Date : 2016-11-14 17:58:00

 

 
Berbers, Islam and arabization
Khalid is a Berber human rights activist who?s very active on FB, especially concerning the Berber people in Northern Africa. Video by Fran Atopos... Full story - - Auteur: TerminiTV - Date : 2016-09-17 23:53:00

 

 
the Movement of Imider will complete the fifth year of protest
The next August 1, the Movement of Imider will complete the fifth year of protest, to enter into a new year in continuity of the peaceful struggle that the people of the village carries on to defend its socio-economic and environmental rights.... Full story - - Auteur: mouvement sur la voie de 96 imider - Date : 2016-07-25 08:31:00

 

 
The deeper dimensions of United States report on human rights in Morocco
President Barak Obama is the first president of the United States of African roots from Kenya. He has given special political meanings to all his visits to the continent of his family. He chose to visit Egypt as the first African country where he delivered his famous speech about Islam at Cairo University on June 4th, 2009. After Egypt, he visited Ghana on July 2009 where he delivered his second speech about democracy Africa. Then he ...... Full story - - Auteur: Ahmed Adghirni - Date : 2016-06-26 14:53:00

 

 
National Federation of Amazigh associations in Morocco Press release on Tel Aviv terrorism attack NO TO TERRORISM
We learned with consternation about the terrorist attacks on Wednesday, June 8, 2016 around 21:30 against Israeli civilians seated at outdoor cafes in a busy area of the city of Tel Aviv. These terrorist attacks that no reason can justify, left four dead and several injured. The destructive desire that motivates them is certainly against peace and progress.... Full story - - Auteur: FNAA - Date : 2016-06-26 14:50:00

 

 
National Federation of Amazigh Associations in Morocco condemned the terrorist attack against innocent civilians in Orlando city in US
The National Federation of Amazigh Associations in Morocco "FNAA" expresses its solidarity with the victims of terrorist and barbaric attacks perpetrated on Sunday, June 12, 2016, leaving dozens dead and wounded in the Pulse Nightclub frequented by the gay community of Orlando city, Florida State in the US.... Full story - - Auteur: FNAA - Date : 2016-06-26 14:47:00

 

 
Morocco?s indigenous Amazigh women unite against Islamists and Arab elites
In North Africa, Berber women have banded together to fight political Islamism, polygamy, child marriage, and impunity for perpetrators of domestic violence... Full story - - Auteur: EMMA-KATE SYMONS - Date : 2016-03-28 14:35:00

 

 

Headquarters : Amazigh World, North America, North Africa

  amazighworld.eng@gmail.com

Copyright 2002  Amazigh World. All rights reserved.