Thousands Protest In Morocco Against U.S. Threats
By Adel Iqley, IOL Morocco Correspondent
January 12, 2003
RABAT, January 12 (IslamOnline) – Some 10,000 people took to the streets
of Rabat on Sunday, January 12, to protest against the growing U.S.
threats to launch a military offensive against Iraq.
Braving the heavy rains gripping the Moroccan capital, the protesters
also shouted slogans against the Arab governments’ silence towards the
rising tone of the U.S. war threats that widely expected to materialize
within late February’s timeframe.
“Believers should stand united and extend their hands to one another” and
“The American Storm is coming soon,” read some of the banners clearly
hoisted among the large masses in the demonstration, organized by the
Iraq Support Initiative, a group made up of Morocco’s political and
“Although the demonstrations was local, not nation-wide, large numbers of
people showed up to voice their denunciation of the continued Israeli
occupation of the Palestinian areas, the crimes committed by the Israeli
army against the Palestinians in one hand and the expected U.S. criminal
military campaign against the Iraqis,” Khalid Al-Sufyani, an Iraq Support
Initiative Secretariat member, told IslamOnline during the march.
“We are here to join our voices to say: No for the U.S.-Zionist
terrorism, No for the new Zionist colonial project in our region that
plans to maintain a grip on its riches,” he said angrily.
But Fatahallah Arsalane, official spokesman of the Al Adl Wal Ihssane
party said the march only comes as a “stopover on an extensive tour” that
would also take the protests to the front of some of the embassies in the
There were marches outside the Qatari embassy and the UN office and
another was planned to take place outside the MacDonalds restaurant in
Rabat on January 16. Moreover, the flare of the protests is expected to
catch other Moroccan cities.
With regards to the Turkish Prime Minister Abdullah Gul’s current tour of
the region, Arsalane was rather skeptical, saying the trip is only meant
to bring the Arab countries to their knees and give up all reserve of
resistance against before the world’s only superpower.
“This popular protests shows the decrease of the spirit of struggle among
the Arab regimes and the failure of the political work in this country,”
said Dr.Al-Mahdi Al-Mungara, a Moroccan intellectual who joined hands
with the demonstrators.
The protestors were also keen to burn the U.S. star-studded flag, in an
effort to speak out their minds towards the U.S.'s approach towards many
of the issues of concern to this North African state.