Morocco: Telecoms, The Blogging Grand Prix, and Reactions to Salman Rushdie's Knighthood

Blogging has indeed become a popular Moroccan pastime, with new blogs cropping up every day. (fr), a self-described magazine of blogging, reports on the first Grand Prix des Blogs:”

Une centaine de blogueurs marocains a participé au 1 er GrandPrix des Blogs organisé par le portail Bayn. Khadija Housni, une enseignante à la retraite a remporté la compétition. Tandis qu’un blog consacré à l’environnement gagnait le prix des internautes. Ce portail serait la première plateforme marocaine avec 5 000 blogs hébergés.

A hundred Moroccan bloggers took part in the first Grand of Blogs organized by Bayn. Khadija Housni, a retired teacher, won the competition, while a blog devoted to the environment won the prize of the internet surfers. This portal is the first Moroccan platform with 5,000 blogs registered.

Maroc IT Blog
reports that broadband usage in Morocco is increasing as well:

The latest research reports indicate broadband subscription worldwide has crossed the 300 Million mark, with the US and China leading the pack. France and South Korea continue to show sustained growth. In Morocco, broadband subscription growth is phenomenal, approaching the half a million mark, that’s doubling the number of subscribers in less than two years. Fiber To The Home (FTTH) penetration is proceeding at a fast clip in Asia and Europe as services including VOIP, IPTV, Gaming, and HDTV continue driving bandwidth demand.

While blogging and broadband use may be on the rise, however, A Moro in America tells us that microfinance in Morocco is in jeopardy:

Microfinance has proven to be a great success in Morocco and the latter became one of the pioneers of this poverty alleviating concept. Microfinance’s popularity has surged when the Nobel prize was awarded to a Bengali economist who helped the extremely poor farmers.Commercial banks hate the poor as a customer because they are not a good candidate for a loan due to the high risk of default. Microfinance has been the baby of non-profit organizations .Commercial banking and Microfinance are two things that have never been able to criss-cross in the past but things seem to be on the verge of a break-up with that tradition.

Salman Rushdie

Moving on to world news, Najlae (fr) is one of few Moroccan bloggers to even mention the news of Salman Rushdie’s knighthood. She says:

L’anoblissement samedi de Salman Rushdie par la reine d’Angleterre a sans surprise été suivi de réactions de par le monde contre ce nouveau “témoignage d’hostilité occidental” à l’Islam. Mais l’info était bien moins intéressante que la décision d’une poignée de Oulémas du Pakistan de donner à Ben Laden le titre de “saif al islam” سيف الإسلام en tant que Khalid Ibn Al Walid des temps modernes. Le plus dangeureux, comme le souligne Taoufik Bouachrine, c’est le fait de conférer une légitimité aux actes du cerveau d’Al Qaïda en le présentant comme un “résistant” devant les “ennemis” de la religion. J’ai beau essayer de comprendre comment ces Oulémas réfléchissent. Mais il est clair qu’ils n’ont vraiment, mais alors là vraiment pas conscience de la portée de leurs décisions.

The knighting on Saturday of Salman Rushdie by the Queen of England was unsurprisingly followed by reactions all over the world against this new “Western testimony of hostility” to Islam. But this information was much less interesting than the decision of a group of Oulemas* of Pakistan to give Bin Laden the title of “sword of Islam” like the Khalid Ibn Al Walid of modern times. The most dangerous, as Taoufik Bouachrine notes, is the fact that conferring a legitimacy on the acts of Al Qaeda’s mastermind by presenting him as a “resistant” before the “enemies” of the religion. I try in vain to understand how those Oulemas think. But it is clear that they are not really conscious of the impact of their decisions.

Another blogger with a stronger opinion on Salman Rushdie’s knighthood is Actual digital (es):

!Es el humor británico! No es nada más que otra expresión al estilo que caracteriza a ese pueblo y me refiero a la decisión de la Reina Isabel II junto a su Gobierno: otorgar el Honor Británico a un escritor que constantemente está protegido por Scotlandiard, y que probablemente con la obtención de esta nueva y prestigiosa destinción, va a necesitar más protección después del galardón. ¿Qué consideración tiene el Gobierno británico hacia el mundo musulmán? Me parece, cero o ninguna. La decisión es un insulto gratuito y inútil, sin decir más.Honorar al escritor de “Los versos satánicos”, Salman Rushdie en estos turbulentos tiempos en los que vivimos abre una interrogación difícil, a la cual no se pueden encontrar respuestas.

It’s pure British humor! It’s just another expression of the behavior that characterizes Brits. I’m talking about the decision of Queen Elizabeth II, along with her government, to grant the British honor of knighthood to a writer who is constantly protected by Scotland Yard, and who probably, by the obtaining this new and prestigious distinction, is going to need more protection than ever. What discretion does the British Government show toward the Muslim world? It seems to me, none at all. The decision is a gratuitous and useless insult, without saying more. To honor the writer of “Satanic Verses”, Salman Rushdie, in these turbulent times in which we live opens a difficult series of questions, to which answers cannot be found.

Creative Commons Licensed photo by mtkr


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