Friday, October 10, 2008

Salsa festival in Morocco stirs controversy



Islamic scholars say dance violates sharia

Marrakesh will host its first international salsa festival amid controversy as officials and religious leaders expressed dismay over the city’s hosting of a festival devoted to the sexy Latin dance.

The festival, which runs Oct. 8-12, features 100 dancers from Cuba, Mexico, Los Angeles, New York, Oslo, Milan, including Francisco Vasquez and Alex da Silva, choreographers for Shakira and Jennifer Lopez. The contestants will also give salsa classes to students of Moroccan universities.

But some locals voiced objections that the dance is un-Islamic and violates local social norms.

" I do not think that the salsa festival has a negative impact on Morocco "
Nabil Benabdallah, former minister of communication

One Islamic scholar said the salsa festival violates sharia Islamic law. Mohamed Al-Taweel, pprofessor of jurisprudence at the University of al-Karaouine said that the festival is sinful for a number if reasons, no the least of which is the mingling between men and women.


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7 comments:

Aycha Baitaite said...

Mohammed Attaouil a surtout la langue un peu longue! Et apparemment il ne connaît rien à la musique...

Anonymous said...

Music is Universal, and Salsa was created as a mixture of people from different countries decided to express and mix their creativity. I really do not see any difference if we compare it with other kinds of music which I consider more sensual and "provocative" than the Salsa music and or dance.

Lumen said...

The great thing about festivals of all types is that they showcase other forms of thought or culture. By attending, we are exposed to these and can then form an opinion based on knowledge rather than a knee-jerk reaction.

Malibu Man said...

I'm a salsa dancer from the Netherlands and visited the festival. The dance workshops and parties had a great atmosphere, people from all nationalities learning new dance moves, and watching performances by the world's best salsa couples. Men and women treated eachother with respect. The dances practiced were almost exclusively mambo and chacha, dances without full-body contact. Only one of the girls wore a scarf around her head, and she seemed to enjoy the festival just as much as the others. The belly dance we saw in a restaurant was so much more seductive and erotic, that I cannot understand why anyone would object to this salsa festival.

Anonymous said...

Hi,
I am visiting Marocco next week and willing to see a salsa club. Can anyone suggest me some places (if there are any at all)?

Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Hi,
I am visiting Marocco next week and willing to see a salsa club. Can anyone suggest me some places (if there are any at all)?

Thanks.

Maroc Salsa Freak said...

The best thing is to ask the owner of the riad where you are staying or the concierge at a hotel, as they would have the latest information.