Morocco: Fighting ignorance, injustice, and irrationality

Numidia Tin-Ass is an Amazigh girl of 4 months whose father is still fighting to record her first name with the Consulate of Morocco. Moroccan law does not permit its citizens to record a first name that does not appear on a list established by the Moroccan government. The girl is already recorded in the family record book in the town hall of Roubaix, which shows that she practically has more rights and freedoms in France than in her father’s country of origin.

Lhoussein Azergui, the father of the girl and independent journalist and author explains in amazighblog (fr), saying:

Dès que l’officier de l’Etat civil découvre le prénom, Il tend sa main machinalement au tiroir pour y sortir un tas de feuilles désordonnées et usées. Il me dit : «Je vais voir si le prénom existe sur la liste !». Il commença alors à chercher. La loi des prénoms mise en place par le gouvernement marocain, rappelle-t-on, est toujours d’usage. Celle-ci interdit aux citoyens de donner des prénoms non arabes et non islamiques à leurs enfants.

As soon as the registrar discovers the first name, he automatically reaches for the drawer to take out a jumbled pile of worn papers. He says to me: “I will check if the first name exists on the list!” He then starts to search. The law of first names put in place by the Moroccan government, let us remember, is always used. It prohibits any citizen from giving non-Arab or non-Islamic first names to their children.


Lhousein Azergui also gives an appeal in his post (fr), saying :

N’étant que l’une des nombreuses victimes de ce comportement anti-amazigh des autorités marocaines, je tiens à exprimer ma solidarité avec toutes les familles privées de donner des prénoms amazighs à leurs enfants.
Enfin, j’appelle tous les esprits libres, épris de justice et de démocratie, à m’appuyer dans ce combat pour la dignité et contre l’absurdité, et à dénoncer l’attitude arbitraire des autorités marocaines.

Being only one of the many victims of the Moroccan authorities’ anti-Amazigh behavior, I make a point of expressing my solidarity with families forbidden to give Amazigh first names to their children. Lastly, I call all free minds who love justice and democracy to support me in this battle for dignity and against absurdity, and to denounce the arbitrary attitude of the Moroccan authorities.

Lhoussein Azergui has been subjected to an act of absolutism based on ideas of racism and ignorance.

Speaking of ignorance, Amina Talihmet expresses herself in a poetic tone in her blog (fr), saying :

Quand les mots ne viennent pas. Quand la Raison devient déraisonnable. Quand le sens tourne au non sens. Quand politique rime avec gâchis, liberté avec sottise. Quand tout se brouille, oui, il y a effectivement une terrible injustice. Oui, le Napoléon d'Orwell avait raison: certains animaux sont plus égaux que d'autres… parce qu'ils aiment les livres. Lire en fonction de l'humeur du moment. Et sur ce blog l'humeur est à “L'Ignorance” de Kundera. Milan Kundera.

When the words do not come. When Reason becomes unreasonable. When sense turns to nonsense. When politics rhymes with waste, freedom with foolishness. When all is muddled, yes, there is indeed a terrible injustice. Yes, Napoléon d'Orwell was right : certain animals are more equal than others…because they like books. Reading depends on the mood of the moment. And this blog owes its mood to the “Ignorance” of Kundera. Milan Kundera.

Mahdi (fr) commented, saying, “Kundera remains a rare writer, his writing is charged with universalism which surpasses divisions of time and space.”

Neither good sense nor religion has supported ignorance throughout history. In Red@blog (fr), the author has just posted a video featuring Quiradawi, a famous Egyptian Islamic scholar who pontificates on female masturbation. Reda also comments on a recent article which highlights the risks of oral sex:

Les filles ont une autre raison (scientifique celle-là) pour ne plus se prêter à l’un des exercices que les gars aiment le plus. En effet, on apprends qu’on court plus de chance de développer un cancer de la gorge en ayant des relations bucco-génitales avec plusieurs partenaires qu'en fumant ou buvant, d’après des chercheurs américains.
Je me demande ce que ‘Quiradawi’ en pense?

Girls have another reason (scientific at that) to stop giving themselves to one of the practices most loved by guys. Indeed, one learns that one runs a greater chance of developing throat cancer by having oral-genital relations with several partners than by smoking or drinking, according to American researchers. I wonder what Quiradawi thinks?

There is only one way to change ignorant thinking; that is to get involved, and the way to do that in Morocco is by voting in the next parliamentary elections. Ange Bleu agrees, and says in her blog (fr):

J'espere que vous aller être nombreux à participer au vote que je viens de mettre sur ce blog et qui a pour but de tester es opinions de participations aux prochaines éléctions législatives prévues au maroc au mois de Septembre. bon courage.

I hope that many of you will participate in the vote that I have just put on this blog; the purpose of which is to test the opinions of participants in the next legislative elections to be organized in Morocco the month of September. Good luck.


  • L’autorité marocaine est raciste envers les habitants de l’Afrique du nord. Il faut faire une pétition aux différentes organisations des droits de l’homme pour que cesse cette injustice. Pourquoi les prénoms saoudiens prime t il sur les prénoms africains, en terre d’Afrique.

  • Pingback: Jillian C. York

    […] popular in Iran, such as “Nasreen,” have made their way into the Moroccan identity. But try to name your daughter Numidia, and all hell breaks […]

  • Manus

    This is really a disgrace for the image of Morocco and Moroccans, especially when the majority of Moroccans are Berber even those who think they are Arabs. Berber names are beautiful and should be celebrated. Enough of the politics of Arabisation as so far it has been a dreadful fiasco.

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