Response to Dr. Ghambou's article about "Stolen Lives"
By: George L. Weaver
As an Anglo-American, I can tell you that the average American has no difficulty separating your country's historical socio-political policies from the principles of Islam including its flagrant violation of basic, universal concepts of human rights and human decency. There is no confusion in our minds that equates Islam with Islamic politics as there is none in our minds regarding confusion between Christianity and our own socio-political ethos. We have no quarrel with Islam. The bottom line is that, as in Christianity, Islam has been distorted as a means of social control by the powerful. Fundamentalist Christianity is equally distorted. Malika Oufkir's pampered life is familiar to Westerners and is totally acceptable. Her fate is not. None in the West believes that the "sins of the father should be visited on the children". Freedom-loving Westerners will never accept the precepts of such a society. Such a society has no chance of integrating itself into the civilized world as a significant player. Westerners regard Moroccan social structure as Medieval for precisely that reason.
Malika Oufkir's subjective account of her life experience is totally understood and accepted as just that, subjective. That is the familiar Western way. Her subjective account in no way ameliorates the cruelty or justifies the treatment of her and her family. Her having omitted the atrocities committed by both of her fathers is in no way an indictment of, nor does it diminish, her or her story. We Westerners are hardly as naive as you might imagine. Your article was more an indictment of our society and of our lack of sophistication than of the Oufkirs. Articles posted on Wafin.com validate her own account of the status of women in Moroccan society. In my admitted ignorance of Islam, I am aware that social practice in Morocco violates the founding principles of Islam. Get used to the idea that Westerners are looking at Morocco and at Islam. Use it to your advantage, in a proactive way, for the advancement of freedom and human rights, and we will embrace Islamic society and revel in its wonderful culture. Drop the defensive posture. Neither your opinion nor mine can alter either of our country's disgraceful history, but we can come together in the attempt to work toward acceptance and mutual respect. Neither of us can defend the indefensible. Nobody can remain truly "Moroccan" in an American society. Second or third generation Moroccans will become integrated. You cannot walk both sides of the street.
George L. Weaver
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