During my recent trip to Morocco, I had the pleasure of attending two separate wedding ceremonies, both with one thing in common: pictures of King Mohammad VI hanging, along with the occasional nationalist song played by the band.
This die-hard nationalism and constant need to invoke the king’s name along with praise and prayers just baffles me. I’m used to seeing it in public locations, sometimes in private settings, but weddings? Two weddings in a row? Imagine that for one moment, the atmosphere is all festive as the band plays some traditional chaabi music, everyone’s dancing, having a great time–then BAM, the band switches it up to a hardcore nationalist song that sounds like what could have been chants during the 1975 Green March to the Western Sahara. Am I unique in this experience, or is this common place during recent weddings in Morocco?
I study and research Moroccan politics extensively. I breathe and live Moroccan politics. Discussing and debating Moroccan politics is one of my favorite things to do, especially in Morocco. But the infiltration of this default political view that is automatically pro-monarchy and in favor of the annexation of the Western Sahara without any critical thinking and just because it’s been the norm for the past few generations is on a level that is just insane. When it comes to the point that while attending a wedding, seeing portraits of the royal family and listening to songs which urge the annexation of a contested territory is totally normal, it reflects not only the political discourse of our time but also demonstrates the extent to which the regime has essentially penetrated the subconscious of the people.
Let me just simplify it:
IT IS NOT NORMAL TO SEE PORTRAITS OF THE PERSON WHO RULES YOUR COUNTRY AS AN UNCHECKED LEADER AND LISTEN TO SONGS WHICH URGE THE ANNEXATION OF A TERRITORY THAT IS CONTESTED UNDER INTERNATIONAL LAW WHILE AT A WEDDING.