Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Excerpt from Interview

The following is an excerpt from the interview that I had with Eatbees in March:

"The Qur'an emphasizes an individual's personal responsibility for his actions. The idea is that God gave us the Qur'an as a complete understanding — well, it's not a complete understanding, but it's all that human beings would need to understand about we are required to interpret it for ourselves…because another thing that the Qur'an emphasizes is that no one is going to stand in for us on judgment day. We are each going to face God alone based on our own actions. It's like the Christian idea that all people are created equal in the eyes of God — this is the basis for the democratic system. So I don't see any contradiction between Islamic ideas and democracy or the responsibilities of individuals within a democratic system to define right and wrong. I don't think the imam can do it for us and I don't think the Qur'an has answers to every possible situation...It's sort of like when Christians ask "What would Jesus do?" They use that analogy but Jesus didn't do everything possible. He did some things, so they say, "What would he do in this other situation that we don't have any record of him being in, based on the situations that we do know about?" It's the same thing. The Qur'an doesn't give instructions for every possible situation. We have to be our own judges. I think this is consistent with a democracy. I think the religious influence from the mosque about specific customs and festivals…that's a private affair that is separate from the running of the state. When you get to the bottom of the state, each individual has his conscience based on his moral system just like a Christian, a Jew, or even a pagan would."
I really enjoyed conducting the interview and gathering this rich data. There will be more quotes to come. I would like to thank Eatbees again for volunteering so much of his time and offering this valuable information. What is your take on his ideas? You can post your comments here or send them to me through the email below. If you are interested in offering your perspectives on Moroccan culture, politics, religion and more, you can email me at By next week I should have an questionnaire available on as well that you can complete at your leisure. As soon as it is ready I will post the link here. I look forward to hearing from you!

Ce qui suit est un extrait de l'entrevue que j'ai eue avec Eatbees en Mars:

"Le Coran insiste sur une personne la responsabilité personnelle de ses actes. L'idée est que Dieu nous a donné le Coran comme une complète compréhension — bien, ce n'est pas une compréhension complète, mais c'est que tous les êtres humains ont besoin de comprendre de Dieu ... si nous sommes tenus d'interpréter pour nous-mêmes… car une autre chose que le Coran insiste sur le fait est que personne ne va au stand pour nous le Jour du Jugement. Nous sommes en cours pour faire face à Dieu seul sur la base de nos propres actions . C'est comme l'idée chrétienne que tous les hommes sont créés égaux aux yeux de Dieu — c'est la base pour le système démocratique. Donc, je ne vois pas de contradiction entre les idées islamique et de la démocratie ou les responsabilités des individus dans un système démocratique à définir le bien et le mal. Je ne pense pas que l'imam peut faire pour nous et je ne pense pas que le Coran a des réponses à toutes les situations ... C'est en quelque sorte de même lorsque des chrétiens demandent «Que ferait Jésus?" Ils utilisent cette analogie, mais Jésus n'a pas tout faire. Il a fait certaines choses, enfin disent-ils, «Qu'aurait-il fait dans cette autre situation que nous n'avons pas d'ecris passe, en se fondant sur les situations que nous connaîsson maintenant?" C'est la même chose. Le Coran ne donne pas des instructions pour chaque situation possible. Nous devons être nos propres juges. Je pense que cela est compatible avec une démocratie. Je pense que l'influence religieuse de la mosquée sur coutumes et les festivals… c'est une affaire privée qui est distinct de la gestion de l'État. Lorsque vous arrivez au bas de l'État, chaque personne a sa conscience sur la base de son système moral, tout comme un chrétien, un Juif, ou même un Pagan ferait. "

J'ai vraiment apprécié la conduite de l'entretien et la collecte de données riche. Il y aura plus de prix à venir. Je voudrais remercier de nouveau Eatbees pour son bénévolat et offre ces précieux renseignements. Quelle est votre avis de ses idées? Vous pouvez poster vos commentaires ici ou envoyez-les moi par e-mail ci-dessous. Si vous êtes intéressé à offrir vos points de vue sur la culture marocaine, la politique, la religion et de plus, vous pouvez m'envoyer un email à D'ici la semaine prochaine je devrais avoir un questionnaire disponible sur ainsi que vous pouvez remplir à votre guise. Dès qu'il est prêt je vais poster le lien ici. J'attends avec impatience de vos nouvelles!


Hisham said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hisham said...

Hi Reb.

Isn't it amazing how Internet made it ridiculously easy to speak out. Those regimes in the Arab world have subjugated their populations for so long and now are shaking to their bones with this new uncontrol able blogosphere thing. When I was younger, we lived under the reign of Hassan the Second, the father of the current monarch. It was a regime of the kind is now prevailing in North Korea. We were living in constant fear because nothing really could have protected you from arbitrary detention because of some twisted interpretation of some innocent opinion you could have uttered in a moment of negligence. Have you ever read 1984 of George Orwell? It's exactly that kind of Bigbrotherish climate we constantly breathed into. My grand mother used to warn us against the Makhzen: the name given to the power system prevailing in Morocco which is basically a feudal system.

Internet and the myriad of possibilities of expression brought about by the so-called 'information revolution' have permitted a real emancipation especially amongst the younger Moroccans. The country has a liberal tradition, not thanks to the regime but because the Moroccan people have always needed vital interaction with the outside world. After all it's a poor country with very insignificant natural resources. People have always realized that prosperity lies in their opening up to the outside world. Paradoxically, the regime's philosophy has always been the cultivation of an image of openness, whilst making sure that democratic contagion doesn't occur.

From the outside the country looks quite liberal, and that is true to a large extent, but nothing fundamental has really changed. The Makhzen has grown sophisticated, and with the help of Western governments, the regime is now more confident and doesn't shy away from harassing bloggers and independent journalists.

I think Morocco is a fundamentally interesting subject of study because it is arguably the most liberal of the Arab countries and whatever happened here, this must have enormous influence on other Arab nations who suffer from an even worse state of freedoms.

I wish you well for your project. If I can help please let me know.

Reb said...

Hi Hisham,
Thanks for sharing your experiences. Yes, I have read 1984 and I could not image living in that kind of situation. I am so glad that Moroccans now have an outlet for expressing themselves.

I read the article on your blog about the Makzen and I would like to ask you more questions about it. I will email you.