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Rantings of a Sandmonkey

Be forewarned: The writer of this blog is an extremely cynical, snarky, pro-US, secular, libertarian, disgruntled sandmonkey. If this is your cup of tea, please enjoy your stay here. If not, please sod off

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Christian Rock festival.. for muslims...in Morocco?

This is just interesting : In a sprawling open space alongside the Royal Palace here last Saturday night, Baimik Youness and his friend Salahe Boudde were jumping with excitement, about to see their first American rock concert. The Moroccan students had never heard of the band, Rock 'n' Roll Worship Circus. Nor had they realized that the three-day concert they were attending was a Christian rock festival. Oooops! LoL Last weekend's concert, organized by several American evangelical groups and the Moroccan government and called the Friendship Fest, was staged despite criticism from Moroccan Islamic groups and opposition political parties. Seven American Christian bands alternated with Moroccan groups. The event drew more than 15,000 Moroccans a day, police officials estimated, as well as dozens of evangelical Christians from around the United States. The concert was about more than power chords for Jesus. From the evangelists' perspective, it was an opportunity to gain a foothold in a relatively liberal Muslim country and give religious priorities a more central role into American foreign policy. So that's the reason why the american organizers organized the event and the Morroccan government did not mind at all. Ok. That's a good step in terms of interfaith dialogue and religious freedom. That's good news, right? The Moroccan government- despite the cries of indignation and protest from muslim groups- is actually taking a stand for the sake of religious tolerance out of its own alturistim, without any selfish political reason or gain behind it what so ever. That's refreshing! That's inspiring! That's...wait a minute From the Moroccan government's point of view, it was a chance to interact with what is perceived to be a politically influential group in American politics at a time when the country has been criticized on its human rights record and continues to grapple with a longstanding dispute over the status of Western Sahara. Western Sahara? I don't get it? What do the evangelicals have to do with that? For Morocco, a pressing issue is Western Sahara, former Spanish territory that has been under Moroccan control for much of the past three decades. More than 150,000 former nomads from the region, the Sahrawi, have been in refugee camps in Algeria since fleeing the invading Moroccan army in 1975. Several American evangelical groups have provided assistance to the refugees and backed calls for a referendum to resolve the region's status. Some here say the government's welcome to the evangelicals was an attempt to co-opt their support. Oh... But those evangelical groups have integrity, right? They would never sell-out like that, right? In fact, one of the evangelical leaders who was behind the Christian rock festival, the Rev. Rob Schenck, who leads the conservative Christian lobbying group Faith and Action in Washington, said that after what he had seen in his meetings with Moroccan officials he would now seek to get evangelicals to reassess their position on Western Sahara and the Sahwaris' political leadership, the Polisario Front. Hehehehehehe ( I don't know why i am laughing, cause this is really not funny, but i can't seem to help it) hehehehehehehe The excuse..ehh..i mean the reason being? "Evangelical Christians have to be extremely cautious about supporting any group that would sympathize with a socialist or Communist philosophy or world view, which is completely in conflict with an evangelical or Christian worldview," Mr. Schenck said in an interview. He said Moroccan officials had told the evangelical leaders that the Polisario had received Cuban training and aid. Ahh, Fidel is the reason. That's just classic. Hey, if the moroccan government said it, it must be true. They are , after all, the government, and they would-of course- never lie to serve their own interests. You know, i wasn't gonna be upset over this. I was just gonna chalk it up to another case of politics as usual, until i saw the following paragraph in the article: The evangelicals did have to retreat on another front. After criticism from the press and Islamist groups, the Moroccan government canceled a planned conference on Christian-Muslim dialogue that was to have taken place in the week leading up to the rock festival. So go ahead with the christian rock festival and cancel the christian-muslim dialogue conference. Hmmm.... Makes perfect sense. Don't you agree? Now if you will excuse me, i have to go bang my head on my desk for the next 10 minutes or so. Maybe i will be lucky and get some brain damage. Sigh...


At 5/10/2005 09:59:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope they all go to Africa and stay there.

At 5/10/2005 12:44:00 PM, Anonymous Don Cox said...

Those evangelicals are the kind who knock on your door and try to convert you. It is a big big mistake to let them into the house. The Moroccans will regret it. As for the "rock music" - I think you will find that so-called "Christian music" is not very like real rock music. If you want rock, try Rachid Taha.

At 5/10/2005 01:28:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, I guess it's good that the evangelicals are consistent.

They're just as hypocritcal and two-faced in their foriegn policy as they are with their domestic agenda.

At 5/11/2005 10:33:00 AM, Blogger gatorbait said...

My Moroccan source said it was fun. Did not sway her religious beliefs anymore than a Muslim group would mine, but she thought it was nice.

Poor M VI , never gets a damn break from the leftist press, does he?

I guess Don and anon would much prefer a nice, elegant beheading or two .

At 5/11/2005 01:23:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No, definitely not a beheading or two. :) My concern with the fundamentalists here in the US is their politics, not their religion. If their politics were actually a little more, um, Christian :), then I wouldn't have a problem. As it is many, many are complete hypocrites. (And there are, obviously, many outstanding exceptions to this generalization.)

It's the politics in this case, too, that I find appalling. I think the idea of the concert is a good one, though, (even if most Christian rock sucks :) because it was most likely a fun cross cultural event. I doubt that can ever be bad thing.

At 5/11/2005 03:43:00 PM, Blogger gatorbait said...

Anon, so you have a problem with Fundies in US politics? Okay ,good, then you must loath the Rob Reiners and others whose fundamental belief in Marxism and other such tolerant and caring philosophies are equally rigid and doctrinaire. Or is it because you subscribe to that same fervent religion?

I see as much evangelism from the Left in entertainment and fawning accolades from their disciples in the news media. Enjoy.

At 5/11/2005 04:07:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

gatorbait: Did I say that I was a pinko Hollywood loving commie? :) No, I get very offended and concerned by many holier-than-thou individuals, who as you put it are often very doctrinaire. Just because I don't like the fundamentalists' politics, doesn't mean I necessarily buy into what Jane Fonda or someone is pushing.

These very far "left" and "right" groups are unreprentative of the general population. They are, however, loud and well organized. The fundamentalists' politics are what annoyed me today, but trust me, I'm equal-opportunity when it comes to complaining about people pushing their kookie ideology over all others.

At 5/11/2005 04:18:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Er, "unrepresentative" rather than "unreprentative," I mean. :)

At 12/07/2005 11:44:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

well that's cool knowing that this is all shit and shit is parfum to my nose. anyway, as you might have guessed, i'm quite bored surfing the net and fell into your page by complete luck and I enjoyed the story pretty much but monkey, i got a question for you: why don't you go live in communist russia? making thoses links with all those groups of interest and bla bla bla makes me want to slap you big time. why do you open your mouth without any proof, just insinuations.


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