A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Morocco Cracks Down on Shi‘ism: Link to Break in Ties with Iran?

Not long ago I noted that Morocco's break in diplomatic ties with Iran came after Iran and Bahrain had patched up their quarrel, and that Morocco seemed to go out of its way to pick the fight. Perhaps it is explained by this recent crackdown on Shi‘ism in Morocco, as reported by AFP. Since Morocco has no indigenous Shi‘ite population it seems worried about possible proselytization by Iranians or (in the case of the Iraqi school mentioned in the article) Iraqi Shi‘ites. (The crackdown is also focused on gays, according to the article, who often tend to be targeted when Arab regimes are trying to stress their Islamic bona fides.) The Moroccan King, after all, is still called Amir al-Mu'minin, Commander of the Faithful, a traditional title of the Caliphate, and often portrayed in traditional dress.

And while the story is probably unrelated, some Saudi Shi‘ites are having a bad week as well.

1 comment:

Gene said...

Trouble in Yemen as well ...