Moroccan Internet users were numerous to react to a sequence broadcast on the Algerian channel Echourouk caricatured King Mohammed VI. Even the head of the Moroccan government expressed his indignation in a diplomatic tone.
In a new media escalation, the Algerian channel Echourouk, close to military circles, caricatured King Mohammed VI in a satirical programme, where the Cherifian sovereign was parodied as a puppet. The presenter of the programme simulated an exchange with the king, where he raised the issue of the recent officialization of Moroccan-Israeli relations, as well as the recognition of the Moroccanness of Western Sahara by the American administration, in the last days of Donald Trump’s mandate. Speculation has been raised about the withdrawal of this recognition by the new administration of Joe Biden and the hostilities towards Algeria.
Many users of social networks in Morocco condemned this sequence, broadcasting the formula « The King is a red line ». Still others demanded an official and firm response to the Algerian military regime. Members of the Moroccan government deplored the insulting escalation. The head of the Moroccan government, Saâdeddine El Othmani, even expressed himself on his Twitter account. « In view of the country’s continued success on more than one level, and in the Moroccan Sahara issue in particular, the opposing media are waging a war of insults against the country’s constitutional institutions and King Mohammed VI, » wrote the Moroccan Prime Minister.
For his part, Mustafa Ramid, Minister of State for Human Rights and Relations with Parliament, spoke on his Facebook account. « Whether Moroccans agree or not concerns them and it is their right (…) This can only be an expression of the power of a state strong of its institutions, and the vitality of society with its components, » he posted. « But to encroach on the institutions of our country and our national symbols, led by His Majesty, is unacceptable and intolerable. Our position must be unified, rejecting this transgression and protecting our institutions, to defend the symbols of our country, » he added.
For his part, Salafist preacher Mohamed Fizazi responded to the Algerian channel in a live video on Facebook, saying that « this programme was not a coincidence » and that senior Algerian officials knew in advance what would be broadcast. « The Algerian people do not deserve this kind of media. The Algerian people are bigger than this to have media that specialises in lies and slander, » he said, wondering « why this people has been afflicted by having this kind of leadership since independence.