Artículos sobre Islam e Islamismo
Political Islam in Morocco Part 3/4 :: 01/06/1991
Yassine’s movement: how they work and how they think
According to Nadia Yassine the human structure of her father’s movement is composed of Quranic professors, professors working in the thousands poor douars (small villages or communities) all over Morocco, Quranic schools students and Quranic schools graduates, and University graduates from Rabat, Casablanca, and Marrakech Universities, mainly from branches such as Philosophy, Political Science and Law. Nadia Yassine herself is a Political Science graduate, 25 years old, mother of two children, speaks French fluently because – as she says – she studied at the “French mission”.
Although she says that their movement is not yet widespread all over Morocco and would not be capable to make a significant performance in next September legislative elections if it were admitted to participate, she affirms that the present lack of militancy and organic partisan work is irrelevant first because many people refrain from joining her father’s movement in its political aims because they are afraid of the police repression; second because being an Islamic movement, all believers, specially the poor people, will sympathize and will support them, even if not organically integrated in the Association when they decide to request or they obtain authorization to become a political party.
Yassine’s movement considers the mosque as the ideal forum to present their ideas. The Police and Security organs have been the first to understand it, and that is the reason why presently there is a strict prohibition for all Abdessalam Yassine’s followers to speak at any mosque whatsoever. This prohibition has been reinforced, after January revolts, by King Hassan decision to appoint some officials of the Ministry of Interior to the Council of Oulemas.
These officers will be according to sources in Yassine’s movement the ones that will authorize or deny permits for those who want to talk at the mosques. The same sources believe that all Islamists are very pleased with this King’s decision because it directly contradicts Islamic and Prophetic traditions by which anyone is free to talk inside the Mosque. These are, by the way the first restrictions in Moroccan history to the freedom of Islamic cult. Al Adl people believe these measures are likely to create a malaise first between the believers and the Oulemas and then between the Oulemas and the believers and the regime.
According Yassine’s daughter all the Quranic schools professors and most of the douars professors may be considered benevolent propagandists of his father’s faith even without knowing it. She said than in Moroccan society conditions foreign teaching remains marginal, and Quranic teaching is the most important because it is the more widespread, especially among poor people towards which goes their message. Although A. Yassine and his movement were very much pleased by the success of the Islamic revolution in Iran they try at present not to be associated with it, whatever their feelings about Khomeiny and Iran are. To assess this it is necessary to come back to the early times of Abdessalam Yassine and his first’s writings about Iran and compare them with his movement recent attitudes.
A conference given by A. Yassine on May 27, 1980 in Rabat is very significant of his thoughts, his ideas about revolution, classes and Islam, and also about how he did perceive at the time the khomeinist revolution. The conference was mainly addressed to “Westernized Moroccan Elites”, and was later on published in a pamphlet with the title: “For a dialogue with Westernized elites”. Here are some excerpts: “In land of Islam the wind of liberation blows strongly. The underground forces of the popular anger are becoming ostensible by terrific shocks…The Islamic revolution is exercising an irresistible attraction for the Muslim masses… In Iran, this revolution may be put as an example for many reasons, but is facing some difficulties because of foreign plots….”
The institutions and the hordes of evil, continues the Pamphlet, have been overthrown with empty hands. Fifteen months after the fall of the regime of torturers, only 800 criminals have been judged and executed. This is a summum of tolerance that foreign propaganda is trying to present as a barbarian butchery. A new hope is born with the fall of modernizers that had no moral or spiritual objective in the frame of which to place and adapt this modernity… The poor Shah learned in spite of him that foreign dependence and savage modernisation under torture ends in bloodbath, a blood that is watering today in Iran the vigorous seed of reviving Islam”.
Yassine was not, however, very satisfied with Moroccan oulemas and in the same conference said: “But the race of our ayatollah is very weak and it is difficult for any of our leftists intellectuals to find any interest in the intellectual exchange with our apathetic and outmoded religious men…This is not the case of the thousands Arab speaking professors graduated at the Qaraouyine university; or those humbles douars, fqihs graduated in the Quranic schools, who share, if not our will to fight with militant Islam, at least the essential of our thinking and objectives…
Foreign secret services of imperialist countries and local polices consider any bearded man that goes regularly to mosque a would-be revolutionary.
By 1984 this enthusiasm for the Khomeini’s revolution is not any more expressed publicly in that vehement way. Nadia, Abdessalam Yassine daughter, said to me when asked about it “I do not want to give my opinion about the Iranian revolution because I do not know yet the results of this revolution. On the other hand the Iranian revolution is the product of men, and men may be wrong. Our theories are not related to those of the Iranian revolution. My father started to write his ideas at the end of the sixties, when he wrote “The Islam between the Call Dawa’a and the State”. In 1970 there was not yet any sign of the Iranian revolution. Furthermore, the Iranian ayatollahs chose the strong line: we do not want any bloodbath. We want to achieve our goals through legal means and by popular consent”.
I reminded her that her father had, notwithstanding, wrote in a very sympathetic manner about the Iranian revolution in his periodical Al Jamaa. That is what she answered: “That was at the beginning of the Iranian revolution. It is a fact that Khomeiny fought for power during 27 years; that cannot be denied. We sympathize with all Islamic movements and consequently we sympathize with the Iranians in so long they search for a more equitable solution that the present one. Still, it is a fact that Khomeini is a man and that he made mistakes. We sympathize with what is at the base of his movement, that is Islam, but it does not mean that we sympathise with the methods he is using to go ahead with his revolution”.
Another aspect of Yassine’s movement attitudes are related with their official and public moderation and considerations for King Hassan. Although the essential of their theories contradict the quality of spiritual chief Amir al Muminim of King Hassan and the content of the bei’a (engagement contract between the community and their chiefs in Islamic sense) between King Hassan and the Moroccan people. King Hassan pretends that his legitimating comes directly from God as “a descendant of the Prophet, and consequently he believes he is not responsible before any one on this earth; the Islamists pretend, according to the Prophet traditions and the first Caliphate (of Omar Ibn Abdelazis) that the bei’a is a reciprocal engagement between the Caliph and the people by which the people promise fidelity to the Caliph but only on the condition that the Caliph engages himself before his people to govern with justice and equity and always according to the precepts of Islam. Something however has changed probably for tactical reasons in the
public language of Moroccan Islamists.
In January 1980 Abdessalam Yassine told researcher Mohamed Tozy: “The Amir al Muminim is just like any other believer. If he makes a mistake he is responsible for it, according to the bei’a . No man has any religious authority because God does not delegate his authority. Any person may speak in the name of Islam. Furthermore, any Muslim can be Caliph, even a black slave. The Islam does not accept inheritance. The Moroccan oulemmas are frustrated because the King has deprived them of the founding function of the bei’a. The Islamic people
do not accept to obey those who do not respect the Shariah (Quranic law)”
I told Nadia Yassine that King Hassan is a religious, military and political chief and that is what she answered: “We absolutely do not deny the fact that King Hassan is a Muslim because when he appears before TV or speaks through the radio he always pronounces the engagement of the faith (Note: There is only one God, Allah and Muhammad his prophet) We do not reject absolutely his Islam or the fact that he is trying to practice Islam and so on. All we ask him is to go a little bit ahead in the practice of Islam. The theory exists: we ask him to go ahead with practice. He is a Muslim, he is a descendant of the Prophet and we respect the descendants of the Prophet. By the way we, as Muslims, we are not interested in power as such. We are interested only in the possibility offered by the power to revive the practice of Islam in its quality of religion of God. We want a more profound practice of Islam.”
When asked what did she understood by a “more profound practice of Islam” she said: “First of all a thorough re-education of the people. We want a total return to the faith. For that it is essential to start by social justice. We cannot convey religious messages to people that are hungry. Social justice is part of Islam, but it is not all. The base of our movement is that there exists an official Islam, a demagogic Islam, and we want to return to the original Islam. The Moroccan society has no Islamic behaviour at all. We have to apply the Sharia“
http://www.domingodelpino.com/index.php?id=467” >In search of the Islamic State
http://www.domingodelpino.com/index.php?id=469” >Abdessalam Yassine, a not very common biography
http://www.domingodelpino.com/index.php?id=471” >Abdessalam Yassin’s Islamic State
Entrevista a Nadia Yassine