Tourists come to Marrakech 'to sin'

2012-04-01 12:13

Rabat - A Moroccan minister has caused a stir by saying that tourists visit the southern city of Marrakech "to sin".

"People from all over the world come and spend a lot of time sinning and being away from God," Justice Minister Mustafa Ramid from the newly-installed Islamist government said during a visit to a Koranic school in Marrakech.

Ramid, a member of Prime Minister Abdelilah Benkirane's moderate Islamist Justice and Development Party (PJD), did not elaborate on his comments which were picked up on video and broadcast on the internet and social media.

"Islamist ministers are having trouble casting off their religious clothes and dealing with their ministerial jobs," said internet news site

The school visited by Ramid is run by Mohamed Maghraoui, an Islamic cleric who caused controversy in September 2008 when he issued a fatwa authorising the marriage of nine-year-old girls.

The legal age for girls to get married in Morocco has been 18 since 2004 but by law family court judges can allow earlier marriages in certain cases, which are common in rural areas.

Ramid's PJD party took the most seats in November election, and the party now leads a broad coalition.

Tourism is one of the country's main foreign income earners, with just over 9.3 million tourists visiting Morocco last year.

  • goyougoodthing - 2012-04-01 13:41

    Quite simple, don't take your tourist dollar there anymore. Let them be without sin and profit.

      Dawood - 2012-04-01 13:58

      yah..they dont need devils like you there....goodfornothing

      Dawood - 2012-04-01 14:05

      in any case who needs the dollar..its kept floating by the foolish europeans and puppet arab leaders

      patrick.saunders123 - 2012-04-01 16:11

      good one, Dawood. How's your wife doing? Is she still in grade 3?

      Irene - 2012-04-01 16:58

      Dawood ~ How much is your wife charging these days?

      Mary - 2012-04-01 21:02

      Agreed. One cannot talk sense into a cleric's head.

  • Arthur - 2012-04-01 14:00

    Good luck with that, you pedo's.

  • Cassandra Olivier - 2012-04-01 14:20

    What a sick sick man

  • Hermann - 2012-04-01 15:05

    Relax, if the tourism trade collapses the infidels will be blamed. Typical Third World and religious fanaticism.

  • Averroes - 2012-04-01 20:52

    The article & most of the commentary below it are both absolutely ridiculous & perhaps only attesting to a wider insecurity prevalent in the West and among the "Westernized". Mr Ramid's comments aren't directed at the "infidel" as some are pathetically attempting to portray, but rather, at the select audience of perverted tourists who only really come to Marrakesh to exploit the young & poor-folk; this includes tourists from the Middle East as well as "Muslims" (including expats & natural born citizens of Moroccan origin) living across Europe & America. The message Morocco is conveying is simply: Yes to cultural tourism & coexistence, no to sex tourism & immorality. Furthermore, the schools run by Mohamed Maghraoui were temporarily closed down after the independent cleric issued his decree - a decree which was harshly rebuked & comprehensively refuted by the Council of Ulama (Islamic Scholars) - which are the only recognized Islamic authority in Morocco. Extremism & aberrant schools of thought thrive on the injustices & community failures; like all demagogues their rhetoric appeals to the blatant expectations & emotions of ordinary citizens in order to earn their respect & seduce them into following their wider perspectives. This article is another perfect example of demagogy at work. The Government are absolutely right to tackle the legitimate grievances of the local population; thus both serving the common good, as well as eradicating the source of extremism & misguidance.

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