Sunday, October 04, 2015

Morocco's First "Beer Festival" ~ The Backlash Begins

The small Islamist party Uniqueness and Reform (MUR), which is close to the governing PJD, has called for the cancellation of the Oktober Fest style "beer festival" in Morocco

On Sunday (October 4) the Uniqueness and Reform Movement released a a statement in which the Islamist group called for the cancellation of the "Beer Festival"  organised by the Groupe des Brasseries du Maroc - the Moroccan Brewing Association. It is interesting that this first shot was fired by MUR rather than the PJD.

Read also: A beer festival in Morocco

In a statement posted on its website, MUR describes the event, which would be a major first for Morocco, as the  "mother of all evils" and considers it "a step in the direction of daring to overtly confront the values, identity and the law  of Moroccans".

The association is calling for "those who gave permission" for the event as well as the "media that are promoting it" to reverse their stance of the subject".

MUR's Arabic press release also pointed the finger at Morocco's French media, saying "It is noteworthy that a French-speaking newspapers in Morocco published publicity links to the so-called "first festival of beer", which included the date and place of festival activities in Casablanca".

The group also called on the "ulema, preachers, media and members of civil society" to ensure "that the event does not take place."

The event is scheduled to take place in Casablanca where the city council hall is now headed by the conservative Islamist PJD.

The festival was announced by Groupe des Brasseries du Marocthrough advertisements published in several newspapers on Friday,October 2.

The Moroccan "Oktober Fest" will be held in different bars and pubs in Casablanca, Thursday through Sunday of each week between October 8 and November 8. It is expected that it would allow Morocco to revive its beer market which has been declining for two consecutive years (-7% in 2013, -5.4% in 2014).

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