Moroccan Imam Demands Death For Journalist, Morocco Sex Debate Rages

Abdellah Nhari, an imam in the northeastern Oujda region of Morocco, recently declared in a sermon that Mokhtar el-Ghzioui, the editor of the daily al-Ahdath al-Maghribia, should be put to death for his support of decriminalizing sex outside of marriage. Three of Morocco’s most prominent conservative clerics have also backed the call for death for the journalist. The Morocco sex debate thus rages on.

Said Hassan al-Kettani, one of the clerics, as reported by the Calhoun Times, “The arrogance of the secularists has become intolerable. A dyouth tells the world he would let his family sin and is then denounced by a sheikh and then it is the latter who is threatened with prison?”

In colloquial Arabic, a “dayoute” is a cuckold, or a man who willingly allows his wife commit adultery. According to many Muslims, a dayoute must be put to death.

In a TV interview last week, el-Ghzioui incited the current Morocco sex debate when he stated that supported personal freedom including sexual freedom. He also said that he would “be fine with his mother or sister having consensual sexual relations outside of wedlock.”

On June 18, Khadija Riyadi, the head of the Moroccan Association for Human Rights, called for the canceling of article 490 of the penal code criminalizing sex outside of marriage, a remark that initially sparked the current Morocco sex debate in the normally conservative state-run media, reports The Blaze.

Article 490 of the penal code stipulates a prison sentence of one year and one month for anyone caught having extra-marital sex. However, in reality, discrete sex among unmarried couples is common and largely tolerated in Morocco.

As Ryadi argues as part of the Morocco sex debate, “We know that sexual relations outside marriage are common in Morocco. The fact that all that is hidden encourages abuse, and attacks on individual liberty.”

However, conservative Muslims such as the three clerics continue to denounce calls for sexual freedom out of wedlock.

El Moukri Abouzeid, a member of Morocco’s ruling Party of Justice and Development (PJD), stated bluntly:

“Any sexual act outside marriage is considered an act of debauchery, a crime. The permissive philosophies, which were born in Europe, have they improved social and family relations there? I don’t think so.”

On Thursday, around 100 journalists demonstrated outside the offices of the newspaper in support of el-Ghizioui and against the imam’s calls for the journalist’s death amid the Morocco sex debate.

What do you think about the Morocco sex debate and the demand for death for the journalist for publicly supports personal and sexual freedom in the country?