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Tourists HACKED WITH KNIVES in gory attack at popular British holiday destination

EUROPEAN tourists have been horrifically attacked in broad daylight on a holiday in Morocco by men wielding knives when a sight-seeing tour turned to terror.

By OLI SMITH
Nov 5, 2015
Express

The unsuspecting tourists were attacked on the street in the city of Fez - a popular destination for British holidaymakers and often referred to as the country’s cultural capital.

Graphic footage of the unprovoked attack's aftermath reveals the badly injured victims in desperate need of hospital care.

The footage also shows blood gushing from one of the victims' head.


A large bread knife is seen on the ground alongside huge pools of blood all over the cobbled streets.

The German trio, two men and one woman, had been visiting the neighbourhood of Talaa Lakbira, a popular area among foreigners, when they were attacked.

The three victims were quickly rushed to Fez University Hospital where they are believed to be in a stable condition.


Two young men aged 21 and 25 were arrested on site after locals detained them running from the attack.

It is not yet known what prompted the assault but a police investigation is already underway.

Locals allege that the two men ingested Karkoubi, a psychedelic drug that has been known to spark extreme aggression and even psychotic episodes that can cause permanent brain damage.
The drug is becoming one of the country's biggest problems with children as young as 11 known to take it.

The news of the attack has also sparked fears for the safety of tourists visiting the North African country.

The threat from Islamic State (ISIS) continues to send shock waves in region with neighbouring countries like Egypt and Tunisia suffering a number of terror incidents.

Just yesterday, the Foreign Office issued an update of British travel destinations at risk of terror attack.
However, on the map even Spain was labelled as a higher risk of a terror attack than Morocco, which was given a 'general risk' status.

While this attack has not been linked to militants or Islamic fundamentalists, Morroco have already arrested 14 terror suspects in raids since August.

There is growing concern surrounding “lone wolf” attacks with a rising number of Moroccans sympathetic to international terrorist organisations operating in the Middle East.

Fez itself has been plagued by shocking levels of crime in recent years, with more than 2,500 criminals arrested in the city between September 15 and October 5 this year.

According to the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) around 500,000 British nationals visit Morocco every year.

Tourism is hugely vital for Morocco's economy and the country is generally considered safe.

But, the FCO advises tourists remain "vigilant at this time."


Morocco Fatwa Demands Death Sentence For Christian Converts

Thursday, April 25, 2013
BosNewsLife Africa Service

RABAT,MOROCCO (BosNewsLife)-- Christian converts in Morocco feared for their future Thursday, April 25, after the country's highest Islamic institute issued a fatwa demanding the death penalty for Muslims who renounce their religion.

The Supreme Ulema Council of Morocco (CSO), a body of Islamic scholars headed by King Mohammed VI, said that Muslims who reject their faith "should be condemned to death."  CSO is the only institution entitled to issue 'fatwas', or religious decrees, in Morocco.

The ministry of Islamic affairs declined to comment on the issue.

The fatwa dates back to April 2012 when a legal report was prepared by the government, but it wasn't published at the time, according to local media.

Mahjoub El Hiba, a senior human rights official in the Moroccan government, denied to reporters that the government received a fatwa on "apostasy" -- the word used for abandoning Islam -- as the Arabic-language daily Akhbar al-Youm had claimed.

CRACKDOWN FEARED

The different statements could not be immediately reconciled, but local Christians expressed concern about the situation, saying it could lead to a new crackdown on the country's tiny Christian community of some 22,000 people.

"There's a lot of confusion and discussion in Morocco right now about the fatwa," said a pastor near the city of Marrakech in a statement distributed by advocacy group International Christian Concern (ICC). "We fear that if the fatwa is approved, the government will use it to harass us and even arrest us during our meetings," the church leader added, speaking on condition of anonymity.

"The [Islamic] fundamentalists will have an excuse to harm us," the pastor reportedly said.

ICC Regional Manager for the Middle East, Aidan Clay, agrees that the fatwa adds to concern about the position of Christians in the Islamic nation of over 32 million people. "

INTERNATIONAL OBLIGATIONS

"The Moroccan government lost credibility among international human rights groups in 2010 when it deported more than 70 foreign Christian aid workers on charges of proselytizing without granting due process rights to a hearing," he told BosNewsLife.

In total, Morocco expelled as many as 100 foreign Christians since 2010, because they allegedly tried to convert Muslims,  according to BosNewsLife estimates.

Islamic extremism is the main "source of persecution" in Morocco, said Christian advocacy group Open Doors.

Among those already detained is 49-year-old Jamaa Ait Bakrim, an outspoken Christian convert, who was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment in 2005 for "proselytizing" and destroying "the goods of others" after burning two defunct utility poles located in front of his own business in south Morocco.

MOROCCO LEGISLATION

Open Doors quoted activists and Moroccan Christians as saying that the severity of his sentence for a "misdemeanor" underscores Morocco's attempt him behind bars as long as possible "because he persistently spoke about his faith."

While apostasy is illegal in many Muslim countries and punishable by death in Saudi Arabia, Moroccan law so far does not directly prohibit it, according to experts familiar with the legislation.

Article 220 of Morocco's Penal Code does state, however, that "attempting to undermine the faith of a Muslim or convert him to another religion" is punishable with six months to three years in prison. It was not immediately clear when and if the reported fatwa issuing a death sentence will become part of new legislation.

"We urge the Moroccan government to safeguard the religious freedoms of all Moroccans and to reject edicts that would constitute a breach of the country's international human rights obligations," Clay said.

Morocco Says Terrorism Behind Blast That Killed 15

April 28, 2011

Voice of America

Morocco says terrorists were behind a bombing that killed at least 15 people in a popular square in Marrakech.

Government spokesman Khalid Naciri says it is too early to say what group might be involved in Thursday's attack, which left at least 20 other people wounded.  

Officials say about 10 of the people killed in the blast at a cafe were foreigners. Some officials and witnesses say it appears a suicide bomber may have caused the explosion.

The blast tore the facade off the two-story cafe in Jemaa el-Fna square in the heart of Marrakech's old city, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Morocco's King Mohammed has ordered a speedy investigation into the attack.  In a statement, he also expressed condolences to the victims.

Morocco was rocked by a series of Islamic extremist attacks in 2003 that left 45 people dead, including 12 suicide bombers.

 

"Islamic Education Downgrading" Stirs Furor in Morocco

By Al-Amin Andalusi, & Mariam AL-Tigy, IOL Correspondents

RABAT, June 24, 2005 (IslamOnline.net) – Calls by Moroccan education officials to downgrade or remove the Islamic studies subjects from high school curricula have sparked furor in the North African country, with Moroccan dignitaries believing the calls are a sign of caving in to foreign pressures to “modify” the education curricula in the Muslim world.

The Moroccan education ministry has called for abolishing the Islamic studies subjects from the science section of high school syllabus and limiting the teaching of the Islamic studies subjects in the literary studies' section.

The ministry officials also pressed for removing any references to “jihad” in the Islamic subjects.

“The malicious calls to remove the Islamic studies subjects would not be welcomed in the Moroccan education process,” Khalid Al-Samadei, head of the Islamic studies department, has said.

Samadie, who is also chairman of the Moroccan center for the pedagogical studies and research, stressed that these calls would not gain ground in the Moroccan society that sticks to the Islamic teachings and respects all aspects of openness and co-existence.

“What is happening is the result of the media misconception on Islam and defamation of the Islamic tenets, propagated by different parties that work to fulfill their malicious schemes by fueling such a misconception,” he told the Attajdid daily Web site.

Strict Reviewing

Abdul Kareem Al-Howeshri, chairman of the Moroccan committee for Islamic subject teachers, echoed a similar stance.

“Over the past few years, all lessons related to jihad have been silently taken out from the Islamic studies subjects,” said Howeshri, who is an MP for the justice and development party.

“The Moroccan education process has been under a strict reviewing process, not mainly targeting to remove issues related to jihad, but to limit the teaching of the Islamic studies subjects in general in order to avoid drawing popular outrage.”

Howeshri accused groups calling for equality between male and female of championing the calls to abolish the Islamic studies subjects from the Moroccan education.

“A committee was set up to review the school textbooks and remove whatever runs counter to the concept of gender equality.”

“The committee has even declined to include lessons on hijab under claims that such lessons are a sort of dress discrimination between the two sexes.”

In parallel, new lessons promoting the concepts of tolerance, peace and acceptance of the other have been added into the Islamic studies subjects, he added.

“White Book”

Abdul Salam Al-Ahmar, member of the Moroccan committee for the Islamic subject teachers, agreed.

“Such calls are a violation of the national education charter and the “White Book” stipulating an education that helps build an independent charter for the Moroccan students based on full knowledge of their religion, heritage and history.”

A reviewing of the education curricula and textbooks in Morocco was launched in 2000, which resulted in what is known as the “White Book”.

Al-Ahmar urged “a respect and best use of the terms of the “White Book” on which the state has spent much money and effort.

Question

Last week, Justice and Development Party submitted an interpellation to parliament, interrogating the education minister on the issue.

Lawmaker Howeshri said such efforts to limit or remove the teaching of the Islamic studies subject run counter to King Mohamed VI’s instructions on giving priority to the Islamic studies to help protect Moroccans against extremism.

The Moroccan minister, however, declined to give a clear-cut answer on the issue, describing the Islamic studies subjects as playing the lead role in enhancing the identity of the Moroccan people.

Opponents of moves to remove or limit the teaching of the Islamic studies subjects have been stepping up their opposition to prevent any such decisions from seeing light, according to IslamOnline.net Correspondent.

The ongoing controversy comes a year after Moroccan King Mohamed VI called for developing the Islamic studies curricula to protect the Moroccan youth against extremism.

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