Saharawi civil disobedience anti Moroccan occupation. Break with the Moroccan ID
“Morocco has occupied our land and murdered our people in the name of religion. How could we share with them a religious holiday?”, Hmad Uld Ali Uld Bachir, aka Hmad Hammad.
Exploring this new issue of Saharawi civil disobedience under the laws of the Moroccan occupation regime, we might recall Nelson Mandela and his book “The Long Road to Freedom, an autobiographical work in which Madiba portrays details of his peaceful struggle against apartheid rule. How ANC militants diversified their methods of fighting apartheid’s South African racist regime, one of which was what Mandela called “civil disobedience.” Diversification of the struggle to defy apartheid’s civil laws, backed by Anglican Church that sympathized with the regime against blacks, a bet Nelson Mandela described in his confrontation with apartheid: “The church approved this policy and contributed to the religious base of apartheid, suggesting that Afrikaners were God’s chosen people, while blacks were a species subordinate to them. In the Afrikaner view of the world, apartheid and religion marched side by side. “In the same vein, this expression of Saharawi militant Hmad Uld Hammad:” Morocco has occupied our land, kidnapped, murdered and buried our living relatives and compatriots. In the name of religion. How are we going to share with it a religious date of agreement that it uses against us?
Today this militant philosophy of reactionary and religious rupture against the regime has come into conflict with the peaceful struggle activism practiced by the Saharawi living under Moroccan military occupation. An experience with which the South Africans of the ANC were able to advance their long liberation process against the rule of apartheid and the Anglican church. Saharawi by their nature are receptive to good experiences, as predicted by the proverb, “Give me your heart (Saharawis call it consciousness) to think.” Finally, the Saharawi, conscious of diversifying their fighting methods, emerged with the key of civil disobedience against the administration’s policy with which Morocco manages the affairs of the territories it occupies in Western Sahara.
Against this policy of military annexation wrapped up since its inception through the use of religion, the Saharawi captured the danger of their message and declared a break with it. In 2010, a group of Saharawi university students proclaimed themselves “رافدين الجنسية المغربية” (Saharawi rejecting Moroccan documentation), a condition that the Moroccan administration of 1976 imposed on the population for the purpose of its marrocanization. The eloquent case of Saharawi activist Aminetu Haidar in 2009 is another example when she refused to place on her boarding pass the Moroccan nationality. The Saharawi activist staged an epic 32-day hunger strike at Lanzarote airport, a case that has received the support of thousands of people around the world, embodied among others by Nobel laureate Jose Saramago, the Robert Kennedy Center for Justice and Peace and singers, actors and intellectuals who endorsed the cause of Aminetu.
For the people, nothing is impossible in the methods of fighting any power, whatever its nature. And the examples are many, from the black civil rights movements in the United States, the anti-globalization movement, the beginning of the early Arabs, the civil opposition to wars like Vietnam or Iraq (not the Spanish war movement), Spanish 15M, May 68 French. Citizens declare disobedience against unfair systems. Possibly many anonymous Saharawi, human rights defenders and political activists against the Moroccan regime will also go down in history by declaring this disobedience and breaking with the political and religious laws that Morocco has imposed on its different and contrary Moroccan aspirations.
How did this breakdown begin and how is it being fed in Western Sahara? This is the question I answer according to the realities gathered on the ground. From the beginning of military annexation to the territory in 1976 and when no one dared to oppose the occupation, the rebellion was born in a young man of that generation who witnessed the last years of the Spanish colonial period. His name was Hmad Hammad and he still lives in the “grand prison” as he calls the city of El Aaiun. He told me that from the outset the Moroccan invasion was very clear, it was necessary to disobey it and break with its cultural imposition, alien and foreign to Saharawi culture and identity.
Hmad does not fit into this macabre strategy like many others who, for the sake of study, were deported to the Moroccan interior and eventually spoke or introduced into their Saharawi Moroccan personality the Darija Moroccan language and the French language. On several occasions, he has told me that he has been reprimanded by the government for addressing Moroccan land management administration officials in Hasania (Saharawi) or in Spanish. And that in many trials in the occupation courts he has asked to have interpreter of his language Hasania or Spanish. A method of resistance that cost him arrest, aggression and persecution. Faced with the looting and destruction of Saharawi material cultural heritage, both archaeological and natural resources, Hmad posed a challenge to the regime to denounce this outrage through videos and testimonies at many media conferences and meetings.
Recently, as the Saharawi population in the occupied territories prepares to celebrate the religious date of the Passover Sacrifice, Id El Adha, which for the administration of the Moroccan occupation is on Monday, August 12, an interesting debate has arisen around this date. Among the population of Western Sahara, divided by a military wall, new and strong voices arose against the date set by the occupant for the celebration of the religious holiday. And in the face of the debate that whether the Saharawi in the occupied part should adhere to the Moroccan administration’s indications, they declared themselves in opposition and decided to celebrate it today, Sunday, August 11, with their compatriots in liberated territories and refugee camps in Argelia.
On Friday, August 9, Saharawi activist Hmad Hammad sent me an audio message in which a Saharawi forum addressed the call for religious disobedience in Morocco and the breaking of the stipulated date, but there were also dissenting opinions on the grounds, other reasons of religious interpretations. Hmad Hammad addressed the Saharawi who had doubts: “If they are going to celebrate on Monday 12, we should celebrate it on Sunday so as not to coincide with them and add the date of celebration of our Republic, that was told to us through our sages and ulemas, to that date and not according to the occupant’s agenda. ” Hmad has his ideas very clear and before his co-religionists explained why the Saharawi should disobey the religious practices of the Moroccan administration that controls this part of the Saharawi population and territory for the following reasons: “I heard your debate about the date of the celebration and I see that your religious side is being treated. But I want to clarify one thing: Morocco has invaded our territory in the name of religion, killed our people in the name of religion, poisoned our wells in the name of religion, kidnapped our children. in the name of religion, he murdered our mothers, our sisters, our companions, and buried them alive and threw them alive from their helicopters in the name of religion. ”
When we review the history of the occupation of the territory that Morocco and the Spanish press call the “Green March”, we get a picture of hordes of battered Moroccan citizens, blindly exalted by the appeal of their king Hasan II to recover the Sahara from the Spaniards. Thousands of people walked through the desert to Western Sahara, carrying in their hands the book of the Quran, its shrouds and the Moroccan flag next to the American Henry Kissinger.
Riszard Capuscinski recalled how apartheid ideologues were justified: “We are in favor of the whole world living better and better able to develop.” The King of Morocco, Hasan II, stated in his defense of the occupation of Western Sahara that he did so to free the Saharawis and to unite them with what he claimed had always been his homeland, Morocco. But the Saharawi leaders had their own answer, such as the missing Mahfud Ali Beiba and Bukhari Ahmed. Mahfu Uld Ali Beiba said that “if the Saharawis ever want to be” others, “I will not be that” other. ” And Bukhari Uld Ahmed Uld Barikala said, “The international situation is like what Bismarck said, God’s cloak passes once in front of his door every thousand years. And we, the Saharawi, will be prepared for the passing of the cloak of God “. That is, the occasion of this type of fight is already served not to lose it. And the Saharawi must wait no longer and redouble their disobedience to the religious and administrative laws of the Moroccan occupier.
The late poet Beibuh Uld El Hach summoned with these clairvoyant verses to close ranks and fight together and by all means.
“United, I call you, come, brave and men of valour, / do not accept to kneel, / you must rebel.”