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Morocco: Politicians warn against passing a law targeting Arabic language

April 2, 2019 at 1:44 am

A young sub-Saharan migrant attends an Arabic class in Rabat, Morocco on 12 May 2014 [AFP PHOTO/FADEL SENNA/Getty

Moroccan politicians stressed that the body responsible for determining the nature and course of the “framework law” on the teaching of scientific materials in French is in the hands of the government led by the Justice and Development party.

In an interview with Arabi24, the Head of the Independence party in the Moroccan House of Representatives, Noureddine Mediane, defended the government’s record Arabic language education saying, “What the former Moroccan Head of Government, Abdelilah Benkirane, said about the Arabization of the language of education as having taken place during the Independence party rule is true, and that this party is still adhering to the defence of Arabic as it is an official language of the country according to the Constitution along with the Amazigh language.”

Mediane says:

We, the Justice and Development party, and some forces that support the Arabic language and the national identity have stood against this lobby, and we have been able to introduce amendments to the proposed framework law, which affirms what the constitution stipulated that the two official languages of the country are Arabic and Amazigh with openness to the rest of the world’s living languages, but the achievement we have made is certainly not enough, but it is the best possible.

Mediane stressed that “the issue is no longer in the hands of the parliament since the party that supports the new framework law has the majority and can pass the law even with the opposition of Independence and Justice and Development parties.”

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He said that “the issue of preserving the Moroccan identity and constants is in the hands of the government, which should preserve the supreme interest of the nation when discussing this law.”

He added: “In the Independence party, we are still adhering to Arabization and the Constitution. We know that Arabic has the potential that makes it the language of science. We know that Arabic has been the common denominator of Moroccans for more than 14 centuries, and therefore we cannot allow anyone to confiscate this right.”