Friday, February 15, 2013

Islamists Protest Against Moroccan-Jewish Movie

In the same week as Moroccans in Fez celebrated the opening of the fully restored Slat Al Fassiyine synagogue (see our story here) some 200 demonstrators gathered outside a theatre in Tangier to protest the screening of a film about Jewish immigration to Israel

Archive photo of the Roxy in Tangier

The Roxy today
The demonstrators in front of the Roxy Cinema in Tangier were mostly Islamists, according to the French daily Liberation, and were protesting the film “Tinghir-Jerusalem: Echoes of the Mellah” by the French-Moroccan producer Kamal Hachkar.

The film tells the story of the Jews of a small Berber village in Morocco and their departure for Israel during the 1950s and 1960s.

The protesters shouted slogans against “normalization” with Israel and Zionism.

Morocco’s minister of communications, Mustapha Khalfi, who also is the spokesman for the ruling Justice and Development Party, declined to comment on the protest, but Tangier Mayor Fouad El Omari said at a ceremony before the screening that “censorship is a real danger for art, especially when it is based on a narrow-minded ideology".

Hundreds attended a grand celebration marking the completion of the restoration of 17th century Jewish synagogue Slat Alfassiyine in Fes yesterday. The event marked the first step in a 2011 promise made by King Mohammed VI to restore all of the kingdom’s synagogues.

Slat Al Fassiyine is located in the famous El Mellah, the Mecca of Jewish culture in the Medina of Fes and will serve as a cultural centre focusing on interfaith dialogue..

The timing of the Tangier demonstration could not have been worse, but thankfully the protest was by an insignificant number of people.

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