When the Mayor of Montreal Said in Arabic: "Allah, the Nation, the King"

When the Mayor of Montreal Said in Arabic: "Allah, the Nation, the King"
Posted on November 12, 2015 | Yasser Harrak | Written on November 12, 2015
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Author's Note:

Author's Note:

Photograph by: Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press , Postmedia News

Alien interest groups approach Canadian elected or appointed government officials to lobby for their interests. Lobbying can be at the federal, provincial and municipal level. Lobbyists need to pay for the service and the public has the right to know them, their clients and the nature of their lobbying activities. Some alien interest groups use a different tactic to advance their causes and promote their interests by inviting influential officials to events and make them sound like they are on their side. Montreal's mayor Denis Coderre made a perfect example of that when he attended the king of Morocco's throne ceremony in Montreal last August and literally promoted a controversial slogan of the kingdom. The slogan violates the principles of democracy that Mr. Coderre used in order to become mayor.

Last August, Mr. Coderre expressed his pleasure being invited to attend Morocco`s Throne ceremony organized by the Moroccan diplomats around the world to commemorate the ascension of the Moroccan king to the throne. This quasi community event where food, music and dance attract a few hundreds of community members is seen by many politicians as an opportunity to score some points in their electoral agenda. The Moroccan authorities use the same events to promote their own agendas. Absolute loyalty to the holy person of the king is often their number one goal. Official Moroccan  news sources report after each event on how successful it was often referring to key foreign politicians whose presence is interpreted as a sign of support. Mr. Coderre`s statement came after the Moroccan ambassador - Nezha Chekrouni - delivered a short speech. He greeted the crowd that he described as a model for coexistence. He said that his age is a common denominator with the king of Morocco and added: `` we simply have to say to him (the king) Allah, Alwatan, Almalik (meaning God, the nation, the king). [1]

Here we have an elected public official in a democracy promoting authoritarian slogans. The legal and constitutional implications of the kingdom`s slogan conveys that the state has an official religion - as in the 6th chapter of its constitution-. Being described as sacred in the constitution, King Mohamed 6 - whose criticism or questioning is a punishable crime- have set a precedence in specifying in his throne speech of 2015 that the state religion is Islamic Malikism. He affirmed  that it is the duty of his citizens to defend the Maliki sect. [2] Non-Muslims and Muslims who are not Maliki suffer from systematic hate speech delivered by the Ministry of Islamic Affairs that gets the Friday speech contents from the Majlis - an Islamic affairs body presided by the king himself -. There have been cases where public employees got terminated from work in the kingdom of Morocco simply because they are not Maliki Muslims.[3] Therefore, Mr. Coderre`s recitation of the slogan is an expression of support in favor of a Moroccan state ruled by an absolute sacred monarch where faith based discrimination is officially tolerated.

It is doubtful that Mr. Coderre will win anything from the few hundreds of people that attended the mentioned event. It is wrong to think that most Moroccans who fled their country seeking freedom and economic opportunity are happy with the mayor reciting the slogan of `God, the nation, the king``. Many have found it painful to see our politicians in Canada promoting the image of outdated regimes. Mr. Coderre has certainly lost the vote of those defending the right of Moroccan people to be or not to be religious, and their right be treated equally by the government "of his majesty".

 

[1] Retrieved August 3, 2015, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Osgpg1nblP0

[2] Retrieved  July 30, 2015, https://youtu.be/TEkhfoqhYfk

[3] Stephen Harper and Human Rights Violations in Morocco, Unpublishedottawa, December 14, 2014

About The Author

Alma mater: American Public University (MA, Grad Cert), Concordia University (BA). 

Membership:

  • Member of the West Virginia Iota Chapter of Pi Gamma Mu Social Science Honor Society
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