According to an e-mail sent out to the Boston Muslim American Society listserve, Dr. Saadadine El-Othmani, the general secretary of the Party of Justice and Development (PJD), the leading "moderate" Islamic party in Morocco, is coming to Cambridge, MA this Saturday. He's been a member of the Morrocan Parliament since 1997. We are delighted to have an esteemed visitor come to the Boston area. He'll be speaking Saturday, May 13 at 3:30 at the Kennedy-Longfellow School, 158 Spring Street, in Cambridge, MA.
The e-mail notes that "Dr. Ohtmani represents a leading figure in the mainstream moderate Islamic thought and activism." The PJD, however, on its website states that its goal is to establish an Islamic state in Morroca, where sharia law governs all aspects of life. The Party advocates a total ban on alcohol in Morroco, segregated beaches for men and women , phasing out the liquor industry, and establishing Islamic banks. Mustapha Ramid, a senior party leader, said the PJD would like Islamic sharia law -- including cutting off thieves' hands -- to be applied in Morocco. "Long-term, we want sharia applied completely," he said. Rabbah also said he found it "incredible" that some young Moroccan women wear revealing clothes.
An IslamOnline article from March reports that "Othmani and other party officials are expected next month to begin trips to France, the United States and other countries to drum up support for the PJD's program." Hmmm, now why exactly would a Morrocan politician come to Cambridge to drum up support for his party? This seems unusual to me. What sort of support - financial? political pressure from Muslim advocacy groups to the US government? I encourage people to attend this event.