I don’t know what motivated the perpetrators of the terrorist attack against Argana Café in Marrakech to choose this special timing for Moroccan society, in order to carry out this awful act that disturbed the debates and dialogue seeking a genuine democratic transition. Do they hate democracy? Do they dread freedom? I wonder how they feel while taking the lives of innocent people who love this city that welcomes all human beings without any discrimination of any kind.
The Maghreb has witnessed different forms of terrorism to varying degrees, going from direct confrontation in Mauritania and Algeria, to little impact in Morocco and Tunisia.
At the same time, the Maghreb has been the scene of rising demands for democracy and comprehensive reforms. In Tunisia – where the democratic transformation process was launched -, popular demands emphasized on freedom as a fundamental claim, the people struggled to impose its eager quest for establishing a new political model defined by universal human values, and terrorists were unable to infiltrate the streets to kill.
Terrorism perpetrated in the Maghreb couldn’t scare people or distract them from their real demands. For instance, as soon as the news about Marrakech was announced, many young reform advocates immediately condemned the attack. Instead of inciting sedition and stirring doubts, all stakeholders rushed there to show their solidarity, and reiterate their commitment to comprehensive reform. This is probably a sufficient proof that terrorism failed to achieve its goals, and that the train of reforms has truly taken off in the Maghreb, and can’t be stopped anymore.
The Maghreb peoples have already started a deep transition process, and are no longer afraid of anything. Didn’t the Tunisian people ultimately win after they stopped the strong security apparatus of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, whose torture could no longer silence people?
Nevertheless, the question now being asked is: how can we fight terrorism?
Terrorism has always sought to take advantage of the unstable relationship between citizens and the State. Combating terrorism requires combining everyone’s efforts on several levels, including social upbringing through a value system that makes citizens embrace ideals rejecting hatred and violence.
Counter-terrorism security policies should definitely involve citizens. This requires replacing the existing security approach with a citizen security approach based on a broad participatory method, through some sort of reconciliation that makes citizens truly feel that security is at the service of the people.
The outbreak of popular revolutions across the Arab world, and… more
While social demands for change are increasing in the Arab… more
Islamic terrorist activities in the Maghreb have decreased in the… more