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Tuesday, April 12, 2011     INTELLIGENCE BRIEFING

Dissident prince with Islamists seeks to challenge Morocco's king

WASHINGTON — The Foreign Policy Research Institute reported that Morocco's King Mohammed could be threatened by a dissident prince who lives in the United States.


The Philadelphia-based institute asserted that Prince Hisham was forming alliances with opposition figures, including Islamists.

"Prince Hisham, a relative of the king based in Princeton, N.J., appears to espouse an alternative to the monarchy, more along the lines of the Tunisian regime under Bin Ali or the present regime in Syria," the report, titled "The Moroccan Exception," said.

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Authored by researcher and broadcaster Ahmed Charai, the report said Hisham has formed an alliance with Islamist leader Nadia Yassine, head of the Justice and Charity Movement, Middle East Newsline reported. Hisham has declared that Moroccans should not fear an Islamic takeover.

"Prince Hisham has enlisted a small number of sympathetic journalists to help make his case," the report said.

So far, the prince has decided to remain in the United States and help organize opposition to the Moroccan royal family. At this point, the prince was not said to comprise a major threat to the North African kingdom.

Charai said Morocco has so far avoided the massive unrest of its neighbors in Egypt and Tunisia. He said the Moroccan government remains stable and the king, in power since 1999, continues to be popular.

"Today in Morocco, the streets are relatively free of mass demonstrations for the simple reason that young people have numerous other outlets to register their disapproval of government policies and even the system of government itself," the report said. "Public debate is widely aired in the country's robust, privately owned media in which even debates over the power of the king are no longer taboo."

Still, the report warned that Morocco would continue to rely on Western support amid economic difficulties. The kingdom has also been hampered by widespread corruption, poverty, inadequate medical care, a housing shortage and Islamic extremism.

"This environment has also contributed to the flourishing of illicit industries, such as illegal immigration to Europe and massive drug trafficking; together with the problem of terrorism," the report said.


Here’s one major reform in the Moroccan Constitution likely to unite all opposition forces behind February 20 Movement. It is focused on the Article 38: The House of Counsellors that is dealt with in the Article 38 shall be replaced by a chamber with equal seats for representatives of the three major spiritual families in Morocco; i.e., (1) the community of the Sunnis who support the "commandery of the faithful" (roughly members of the current Board of Ulemas), (2) the community of Sunni proponents of a "caliphate" (roughly the imams who are affiliated to Justice and Spirituality), and (3) the community of secular Sunnis (consisting of liberal intellectuals and leftists). This equal distribution of seats shall seek to promote pluralism and counter monopoly in doctrinal, sectarian and spiritual matters.

Jelloul Dialna [ ]      7:09 p.m. / Friday, April 15, 2011

When I came to work at the California Institute of Technology in 1994, as a postdoc research fellow, I met another researcher, Brad, from another department at a Christmas party. Brad was a geophysicist who graduated from Princeton. When I introduced myself as a Moroccan, Brad immediately started talking about the Moroccan royalty who studied at Princeton and who was known to pay people to do his homework for him. A complete lack of honor and disrespect for the institution of Princeton. I was personally rightfully embarrassed to be associated with such a fellow. Since then, I've read every article Hicham has written, and I have watched his interviews on TV. "His" written articles are far better organized, and the thoughts seem to be well streamlined. On the contrary, when he is on TV, he always seems to be simple-minded, answering the interviewer's questions with "yes" or "no" answers, and lacking proper vocabulary; in short does not sound like a Princeton graduate. The question is: has Hicham kept his ghost writers from his school years, or did he get new ones after he got a new job?

Karim, CA      2:02 p.m. / Wednesday, April 13, 2011

HANDS OFF MOROCCO! The people of Morocco love King Mohamed VI and the last thing that is needed is an Islamic Republic. LONG LIVE DEMOCRACY - AND MORE OF IT FOR MOROCCO!!!

orientalexpat      7:16 p.m. / Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Prince hisham has almost zero support in Morocco, and if he formed and alliance with the radical Islamist party of Nadia Yassine, then he might as well kiss his almost zero support good by. No one in Morocco is challenging King Mohammed 6th. I doubt that he will ever think of such foolish act,it's only a sign of desperation for anyone to associate themselves with the much isolated and unpopular Islamists group.

Rodouane      4:40 p.m. / Tuesday, April 12, 2011

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