September 01, 2007

A Jew in the Moroccan jigsaw

All part of life's rich tapestry I suppose. I got a comment to the effect that Jews in such places as Morocco and Iran are only there thanks to the tradition of the "court Jew." Actually I always think that Israel plays that role vis á vis America. But leaving that to one side.... In the same thread someone posted a link to this article about a Jewish woman candidate in the forthcoming elections for Morocco's legislative assembly. The headline is Interview: Morocco's national jigsaw includes Jews:
Magharebia: Why are you standing for office in a Muslim country when you're Jewish?

Maguy Kakon:
I consider myself to be a Moroccan citizen. I’m a Moroccan first and foremost. I’m not in politics to preach my religion or to say that I belong to this or that religion. My religion is an asset and a difference which will bring cultural diversity, and so much the better for that. But for me, the most important thing is to be involved as a citizen of Morocco.

Getting into politics is a right and I'm exercising it freely and without any obstacles. I'm now running my election campaign and doing so on a non-religious basis. As for my religion, it’s purely a personal faith which I put to one side. I believe religion is something inside us which shouldn’t interfere with politics.
I'm not sure how free the regime is in Morocco. Apparently the King has the ultimate authority and it's believed he would use it to thwart the aspirations of the strongest of the parties, the islamist Justice and Development Party. Still it will be interesting to see how this woman gets on.

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