Moroccan Approach to Counter Extremism, Fundamental Reference – International Expert –

Morocco’s approach to dealing with religious extremism is a fundamental reference, said international expert and lecturer in European and international studies at the German University of Leipzig, Gilad Ben Nun. “An overview of Morocco’s general approach to combating religious extremism gives a clear measure of the success of such efforts. The fact that many in Morocco’s geographic neighborhood, including EU countries and the European Commission, consider its approach a fundamental reference on how to combat violent extremism speaks volumes,” he said in a statement to MAP, in the wake of the March arrests by Moroccan security services of extremists affiliated with Daesh. Reviewing the challenges posed by the extremist threat, the expert stressed the effectiveness and rapid response of Moroccan security services. Ben Nun also highlighted the specificities that distinguish Morocco in its “successful engagements against religious extremism,” as well as its holistic approach, combining security, economy, and confidence in governance. In his view, Morocco’s remarkable ability to combine security-based approaches with those related to economic development is one of the key success factors. In addition, he said, there is “the Kingdom’s focus on infrastructure projects that generate jobs and prosperity for its people, coupled with strong popular confidence, and Moroccans’ pride in their long-standing constitutional monarchy”. “If you add to this the natural tendency of Moroccan society to be tolerant, as well as its rejection of religiously motivated violence…there is fundamental societal support for decisive state action against extremists,” said Ben Nun.