A body of political, civil, human rights and Islamic activists has been formed to warn the Moroccan government that conflict over the recently-passed Education Reform Bill will intensify in the coming months.
The move represents the first response to the Moroccan Parliament's passing of draft law No. 51.17 on the system of education, training and scientific research, which will see certain subjects in Moroccan schools taught in French as opposed to Arabic. Oppositionists to the bill see the reform as tantamount to the "Frenchification" of education.
The draft law was approved last month by the Chamber of Advisors (Chamber II) of the Moroccan Parliament, and was then adopted by the House of Representatives (Chamber I).
The activists' meeting included former Moroccan Prime Minister Abdelilah Benkirane; President of the International Union of Muslim Scholars, Ahmed Al-Raissouni; Chairman of the Leftist Socialist Democratic Vanguard Party, Abderrahmane Ben Amarou; and a number of other intellectual and political activists.
All announced their rejection of the draft law and called for it to be considered a violation of the Moroccan constitution, its laws and Moroccan identity.
A copy of the group's statement obtained by Arabi21 conveyed "the total rejection of the articles of the framework law that imposed foreign languages in teaching scientific and other subjects in all educational disciplines".
"This constitutes a legitimisation of the imposition of teaching in French, and it would foster the expansion of Francophonism in all its manifestations in the system of education and training and most dangerously the different areas of public life in our country," the statement stressed.