Sunday, 17 June 2012

- Roots of Moroccan Terrorism

It takes two years to manufacture a kamikaze -- Mahi Binebine

By Igor Slamoff

Ray McGovern published on Consortium an article called “Not explaining the Why of terrorism,” wherein he claims that terrorism is a natural and spontaneous reaction to imperialist oppression.

The claim that Mohammedans as a group are subject to imperialist oppression on the part of the USA and possibly other powers (i.e. Israel) is simplistic to say the least. This issue is extremely complex and discussing it would require much research, time and effort. I shall here merely study a single case, an apparently typical one, to test the robustness of the causal nexus that McGovern asserts between imperialist oppression and terrorism.

This year [2012] a big hit at the Cannes film festival was Les Chevaux de Dieu (“God’s Horses”), by the Moroccan film director Nabil Ayouch [pronounced “Eye-oosh”], based on the novel Les Etoiles de Sidi Moumen (“The Stars of Sidi Moumen”) by Moroccan painter, sculptor and writer Mahi Binebine [pronounced “Been-been”].

Both film and book analyze the events that led to the suicide bomb attacks of 16 May 2003 in and around Casablanca, Morocco’s largest city. The authors of the attacks were 14 (or 12, depending on the source) male adolescents from Sidi Moumen, a huge and repellent shanty town on Casablanca’s northern outskirts. Like 99% of Morocco’s population, the 14 young terror bombers were Mohammedans.

Thirty-three (or 41 or 43, depending on the source) people died in the suicide attacks, which were the first major Islamist terrorist act committed in Morocco. The targets of the explosions were Jewish and Western (which in Morocco means predominantly French) establishments.

Although Les Etoiles de Sidi Moumen is billed as a novel, it is actually based on exhaustive factual research by Binebine, lasting five years, which he describes as “five years of pain” that he underwent in order to commit to writing the “urban nightmare” of Sidi Moumen, a wretched gaggle of hovels north of Casablanca inhabited by 100,000 paupers (or 300,000, depending on the source). Their lives are ravaged not only by stark poverty, but also by a mysterious drug called “karkooby” -- which appears to be some kind of speed – that inspires numerous murders committed with knives and hatchets. Sniffing glue, drinking alcohol and smoking hasheesh are also popular amusements.
The childhood of Yacine, the novel’s anti-hero, was composed of “holdups, bloody vendettas, searching for salable items on the rubbish dumps of Casablanca, smoking hasheesh, dwelling in hovels with walls of adobe and roofs of corrugated zinc, with the TV set running full blast all day long." Like all Moroccan boys, Yacine and his playmates are mesmerized by football (i.e. soccer). They play football assiduously on “a field strewn with stones, shallow graves, shards of glass and empty plastic bags.”

Sidi Boumen shanty town by Casablanca
Yacine’s elder brother Hamid, under the influence of an Islamist zealot called Abou Zoubeïr, lets his beard grow to prophetic dimensions. Abou Zoubeïr finds odd jobs for the kids, giving them a self-respect that they could not derive from trolling the garbage dumps. Thanks to Abou Zoubeïr, Yacine is able to secure an apprentice’s position at a mechanic’s workshop. Under Abou Zoiubeir’s influence, the kids renounce hasheesh and alcohol. Yacine starts attending prayer meetings at a mosque improvised in a garage. Abou Zoubeïr even treats the whole football team to a week’s retreat at a gorgeous lake in the Middle Atlas Mountains, where the youths pray intensively and train in combat sports.

“They were easy prey for the Paradise salesmen”, remarks Binebine. “The recruitment machinery persuaded them that Hell was on earth and that death was the price to pay for Paradise. Islamists weave their web very gradually, very treacherously, very patiently. It takes two years to manufacture a kamikaze."

It is an open secret that Islamist terror networks in North Africa and elsewhere are financed by rich Wahhabis and other extremist Moslems in the oil-rich countries of the Middle East. The same people fund the Deobandit terror gangs of Pakistan. Iran plays a similar role in financing terrorism committed by the Shia sect of Islam.

Ray McGovern would have attributed the terror attacks directly to his favorite hobbyhorse, i.e. imperialist oppression.

Mahi Binebine, who actually researched the events, blames the Moroccan government of allowing Islamists to brainwash the young. His take-away message is addressed to the government: “Take care of these young people, educate them, provide them with a livelihood, return their dignity to them. We are sitting on a powder-keg. Ther1e may be a new attack tomorrow.”

New condos in Sidi Boumen
The Moroccan government and numerous Moroccan NGOs have since 2007 responded by providing new housing and job training for youth. The situation has improved somewhat.

It is claimed that Ray McGovern worked for many years in the US intelligence industry. Are you sure it wasn't the stupidity industry?

This article is based on the following sources:
“Mahi Binebine, moudjahidine de lucidité”, by Nicolas Marmié,, 29 March 2010
Spielfilm ''Les Chevaux de Dieu'' von Nabil Ayouch -- Geächtet und vergessen, by Sonja Hegasy, 2012

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