Moroccan social activist Mayssa Salama Ennaji, a reformed Islamist, said in a May 29, 2022 show on Sky News Arabia (UAE) that she used to sympathize with Islamist movements, but that she has "opened her eyes" and realized that Moroccan society is for everybody. She said that the Islamists make claims that they believe in coexistence, but that once they assume power, they wage "open war" against others. Ennaji said that people are waking up and are tired of Islamist parties "peddling" in religion instead of advancing basic rights, predicting that Islamist parties will cease to exist. She said: "We all move to countries where there is freedom, and we admire their democracy. Why don't we exercise [democracy] here?"
Mayssa Salama Ennaji: "The [Islamist movements] purport to support coexistence and acceptance of the other, saying that they welcome everybody, but when they assume power, they wage war against anyone who disagrees with them. In Morocco, we have lived together for centuries — Jews, Muslims, non-Muslims, and non-practicing Muslims. We were free. But when they Islamic party assumed power, they began to divide the Moroccans into Muslims who belong to the Islamic group and those who do not. This is dangerous for every country, and for the Islamic nation as a whole."
Interviewer: "Do you support atheism or modernism now?"
Ennaji: "I support coexistence and accepting the other. When I opened my eyes, I realized that Morocco is for everyone. If secularism means that 'religion belongs to Allah, and the country to everyone,' then we should welcome it, because the country should belong to everybody — to every group, and every religion."
Interviewer: "Do you support outlawing religious parties in Morocco and in the Arab world?"
Ennaji: "Believe me, we do not need to outlaw them. People are sick and tired of the peddling of the sayings of Allah and the Prophet Muhammad, instead of their basic rights like food, health, education, and proper housing. They know that these [Islamist] movements peddle in religion, and they have no real qualifications and capabilities. They will get rid of these movements by their own device, so there is no need to outlaw them.
"I believe that the time has come for the people to wake up. They have begun to wake up — from the [Atlantic] Ocean and the Gulf. We will see this with the emergence of this generation, in the next two decades. There will be no possibility for the rise of any political party that peddles in religion, or in any ideology or source of authority."
Interviewer: "Do you support criminalizing relationships outside the framework of marriage?"
Ennaji: "Of course not. There are people from other regions living among us, in our society, who do not consider relationships outside the framework of marriage as adultery. So how can we incarcerate them for exercising their freedom and doing things that they do not consider to be haram?
"We claim to accept the other and we claim [to believe in] coexistence, but when someone with different ideas and a different religion comes along, we want to punish him because of his religion or his ideas. This no longer makes any sense. We all emigrate to [Western] countries where there is freedom, and then we applaud their democracy. Why can't we practice the same democracy here?"