San Antonio and Rabat

At first glance, how could there be any connection between a city in Texas and the capital of Morocco? The connection is  the Muslim faith. First, the Texas side. There is  a small liberal arts  institution located in San Antonio known as Trinity University ( keep that name in the back of your mind) which has become somewhat newsworthy over the past year. In March, 2009 a group of students, the Trinity Diversity Connection, led by a Muslim student began a push to have the words” in the year of our Lord,” removed from the school’s diplomas. Their president’s objections centered on the  fact that this was  a direct Christian reference and not everyone believes that way. The group  has supported by the student government and a campus commencement committee. Input is still being received and trustees  will consider the request at a May meeting.

Now for part two which admittedly is somewhat more significant. The North African country of Morocco ( Casablanca anyone?) is  known as a moderate Islamic country with generally good  relations with the United States. It is like a  number of its neighbors 99% Muslim. So, why the sudden push to  clamp down on Christians?

The country’ s  position as  stated by  Ambassador Aziz Mekouar , which  it refuses to call a crackdown on Christians is that  the sudden, inexplicable deportations of  British citizen and 20 year resident of Morocco, businessman and 15 year resident of Morocco Michael Ramsey  among others. There were interrogations , raids on  homes ,etc followed by swift ignominious passage out of the country.

The charge, proselytizing,the ambassador says it involves pushing someone to change their faith. The unanswered question is why now and why target individuals that have been in the country for years?  Perhaps  the answer is as Jack Wald suspects. Wald is pastor of Rabat International Church. He is hearing reports of Moroccan Christians  being followed, questions and intimidated. He describes it as the heat being on Moroccan Christians.

Two events, neither of which are really connected, but yet are in a sense. One in a pluralistic country, the other in a country 99% of whose people adhere to basically the same belief system. The ongoing event in Texas could not occur in Morocco. Some would say that the events in Morocco have occurred here. In the aftermath of 9/11, there probably was some of that here. But institutionally and  to those actively engaged in ongoing humanitarian activities, I doubt.

Wonder if CAIR operates in Rabat?


April 13, 2010 Posted by | education, Religion | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Secretary Clinton Overdid It

Want to know what she overdid ? Sure you do. She overdid her praise for Israel, of course and now she is having a bit of  a mea culpa. Madame Secretary was in  Marrakech, Morocco to speak to Arab concerns about the “positive reinforcement” she had provided Israel just 2 days earlier. (And you thought Marrakech was just part of a Crosby, Stills and Nash song).

The uproar relates its seems, primarily, to the  construction of Israeli settlements and their unwillingness to bring that construction to  a halt.  This seems to be a major stumbling block regarding Palestinian- Israeli  negotiations. Obama had earlier talked tough on the matter indicating that the construction would have to stop-period. She in fact repeated this assertion that the administration does not accept the legitimacy of the settlements. Unfortunately, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu seems disinclined to completely stop the construction. So, we have  a conundrum, No wonder, Mrs Clinton was reluctant to make the Middle East trip, anticipating all might not go well. Better watch that thinking or John Kerry might have her job.

Anyway, her new old statements seemed to satisfy a number of the Arab leaders in attendance including individuals from Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan and Iraq.

To more fully reinforce her statements today, she will add a previously unscheduled trip to Egypt. There she will meet with President Hosni Mubarak on Wednesday. As of today, there has been no report of what Israel thinks of this” Back to the Future “endeavor . Doubtless, we will hear more.

November 2, 2009 Posted by | International politics | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment