Moroccan Islamists pledge liberal moral line


RABAT: Morocco’s PJD party, the first Islamists to head a government in Rabat, will not impose a strict moral code but instead champion arts that reflect the north African nation’s cultural heritage, a leading party figure said.

First place for the liberal Islamic PJD in parliamentary elections last month came quickly on the heels of a similar win for an Islamist party in Tunisia, following “Arab Spring” uprisings across the region.

“We are not interested in people’s private lives. We don’t care about their beliefs, nor their behavior,” Mohamed Yatim, a member of PJD’s general secretariat, told Reuters in an interview.

“Our priority is to improve Moroccans’ social and economic conditions,” he said, rebutting concerns that the party’s victory could lead to tensions like those seen between Islamists and secularists in Tunisia.

A strict moral code would pose a challenge for Morocco’s tourist sector which accounts for 10 percent of GDP and provides 450,000 jobs, but Yatim said the PJD would not force holidaymakers to cover up.

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