While the current wave of violent extremism in Morocco has been witnessing a relative decline, due to security measures coupled with ideological transformations of Salafi-Jihadi figures to renounce the use of violence, a number of future challenges are yet to be resolved. Such as the return of Moroccan fighters from Syria and Iraq, as well as the rehabilitation of former jihadists to integrate them in the Moroccan society.
In his newly released book Moroccan Jihadists: Local and Global Debate (Al Jazeera Centre for Studies, 2021), Mohammed Masbah discusses the roots and the future of Salafi-Jihadism in Morocco by analysing both the local and global factors that shape this phenomenon in Morocco, as well as its future path.
The book looks at Moroccan Jihadist currents, revealing their ideas, organisations and the mechanisms of their activity to present a more accurate image of their environment and the reasons behind their striking numbers in foreign Jihadist groups and organizations. The author looks also at the Moroccan state response to the Salafi-Jihadi challenge, both in terms of soft and hard measures, and to what extent it has been able to deal with the root causes of violent extremism in the country, and how these measures are likely to impact the future of Salafi-Jihadism in the kingdom.
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Mohammed Masbah is the Founder and President of the Moroccan Institute for Policy Analysis (MIPA). He is a political sociologist whose work centers on public policy, democratisation and political Islam, with a focus on North Africa. Dr Masbah is an Associate Fellow at Chatham House in London and adjunct professor at Mohammed V University.
Zaynab El Bernoussi is Professor of International Politics at Sciences Po Africa of the International University of Rabat. Prior to teaching at the International University of Rabat, Zaynab taught at Al Akhawayn University of Ifrane and coordinated the Master of Arts in International Studies & Diplomacy (MAISD) and the Human & Economic Development Research Unit (HEDRU).
Georges Fahmi is a Research Fellow at the Middle East Directions Programme of the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies, at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy.