One more article written by Souleiman Raissouni.
Lessons from Bachir Skiredj
Three lessons can be learned from the videotape in which the actor Bachir Skiredj brazenly insulted the royal family. The first lesson is that the way the royal palace communicates with Moroccan citizens must be reconsidered, and the first step to be taken in this regard is to reactivate the function of the official spokesman for the royal palace, instead of keeping a loose rein on the owner of the Facebook page that is run in the name of Soufyan al-Bahri. The function of the palace spokesman should not be limited to announcing what royal activities are official, but rather to act as an administration that tracks news and rumors circulating frequently about members of the royal family, and to address it by confirming, correcting or denying it, or even alerting that such-and-such issue is a private matter of such-and-such individual from the royal family, and that in case that any publication or electronic newspaper includes defamation, insult, or harm to the private life of the king's person, the person of the crown prince, or members of the royal family, or a breach of the duty of reverence and respect for the king's person, that person responsible for that will be prosecuted according to the laws in force.
The sultanistic logic based on the fact that the citizen does not have the right to engage in three areas, namely politics, sharia and the person of the sultan, no longer exists except in the latter field, since discussing politics and sharia by the public has become accepted. But digging in the personal life of the person of the king and members of the royal family is no longer restricted by the rules of ancient royal morals only, but also by modern rules of morality that reject digging into the private lives of individuals, so how about the private life of the head of state and his family? However, if the Moroccans find themselves, from time to time, confronted with news and rumors leaking from the cracks of the royal palace, which are further fueled by the international press, or they are confronted with confused statements issued by a person who does not stop presenting himself as a clown to the king, and who has relations with generals, in-laws and senior officials, in order to give credence to his words, it becomes clear that setting out a communication policy for the royal palace is imperative. A policy that re-activates and expands the role of the official spokesperson for the royal palace, and that also develops a strategy for royal meetings with the press, which, for two considerations, begins with conducting a royal dialogue with Moroccan journalists. The primary consideration is that the first people to be concerned with the situation of Morocco and the views of its king are Moroccans. Secondary, to dispel the notion that the royal environment underestimates the Moroccan press and journalists. The value of the king’s dialogue with responsible and courageous journalists lies mainly in making him talk about important matters that those around him do not dare to ask him about. In his interview with the magazine Paris Match in 2002, the king did not hesitate to correct the widespread information that his brother-in-law is a senior bank official. He said: “My brother-in-law is an educator who lives in Fez, and my wife is an information technology engineer.” Also, in the dialogue he held with the media in Madagascar two years ago, he touched upon a matter that would have an aftermath, regarding the debate on freedom of belief, when he said: “The King of Morocco is commander of the faithful for all religions ... and Morocco absolutely does not seek to impose Islam.
The second lesson, which can be learned from the video of Skiredj, is that the relationship that the financial and decision-making circles establish within the state with artists, intellectuals and journalists, pretending to be loyal to those circles, is a relationship that is weaker than a spider thread, because it associates loyalty with giving, and whenever the second (i.e. giving) stops, the first (i.e. loyalty) is cut off. Rather, sometimes submissiveness turns into hatred, as Abu Hayyan al-Tawhidi explains through the concept of “dhahl” (rancor), which was explained by the Egyptian philosopher Abd al-Rahman Badawi by saying: “Dhahl is the repeated feeling of previous abuse that a person has experienced, while he was not able to revenge to those who did this to him, because he was unable to respond immediately, and so he will be remembering it from a distance. "
The words of Bachir Skiredj were filled with shameless audacity and mixed with a lot of lies and allegations and so they were not included in this contribution. But his words enter into the artist’s relationship with authority, a relationship ruled by hypocrisy and overacting in praise instead of criticism, and therefore, many artists affiliated with the authority, like the dependent politicians, find in closed sessions a space for breathing, and "stick up the middle finger from under the jalabas" as stated in the well-known joke.
The third and final lesson, which must be learned from Bachir Skiredj, is entitled: Playing with fire, as the authority has worked in recent years to create and encourage dozens of newspapers, or even crimepapers, both in printed and electronic form, whose sole mission is to defame politicians, jurists, and independent journalists, and dig into their private lives and fabricate unethical stories about them. These newspapers and websites are the ones that recently took te lead of the gang responsible for the character assassination of their colleague journalist Tawfiq Bouachrine, to the point that the editor-in-chief of a printed weekly magazine and website of this category was not satisfied with the false news he had published against his detained colleague, and so during the last month of Ramadan he threw himself on contacting party leaders to tell them that the court will show a tape of Bouachrine together with his sister-in-law. By chance I was with a political official when this wicked colleague called him, so I was able to assure him, and later to others, that Bouachrine's wife has no sister at all. Whoever signed the decision to manipulate the press and turn it from a news gathering body into an intelligence gathering body, does not know that he is playing with fire that will grow out of control, because when we uproot the professional press and plant the defamation press in its place, it is certain that we will harvest generations that do not care about news, analysis and journalistic investigation, but rather will they search for indecent rumors. Just like a drug addict who is looking for his dose of heroin.
The original Arabic version of this article can be found here:
Translated with help of Google Translate and edited by me. English is not my mother tongue.