A recent TV report highlighted the problems faced by Christian converts in Morocco, who say that they are denied the right to celebrate Christmas and New Year's Eve. Zuhayr Ahmami complained about the discrimination suffered by Christians, Baha'is and other non-Muslim believers, and Akouri Abdallah said: "My message is that we want the same rights as the Jews," who "have been enjoying their rights for years." The report aired on the Moroccan Chouf TV channel on December 25, 2016.
Zuhayr Ahmami: "We were born in Morocco, and we love Morocco. We are patriots to the core. We are just like any other Moroccan, and there should be no discrimination.
"There is a contradiction. On the one hand, Morocco signs all the U.N. treaties that guarantee our rights, but on the other hand, Moroccan society rejects pluralism. All the while, the state imposes indirect restrictions on non-Muslims."
"We have the right to celebrate [Christmas] in a public place, and the state should guarantee this right and provide us with security.
Akouri Abdallah: "Despite the claims in the media about the improvement in freedom of belief in Morocco, reality points to something else. This is evident in the restrictions faced by Christians, Baha'is, and other [non-Muslim] believers. Morocco considers itself to be a religious state, with Islam as the official state religion. The Moroccan people say that they are 100% Muslims. The request of the Christians to celebrate New Year's Eve is within their rights, because the international treaties grant them that right to celebrate their religious holy days.
"Neither the state nor the people have the right to deny us our rights as long as we are law-abiding citizens."
Zuhayr Ahmami: "My message is that we want the same rights as the Jews. The Jews of Morocco have been enjoying their rights for years, and none of them have ever been involved in terrorism, in undermining state security, or anything of that sort. We are just like the Jews."