Just a coincidence, right?

Some days ago we raported Recip Erdogan, Turkish PM, shamelessly suggesting that Germany should allow, and presumably pay for, schools where pupils are taught in Turkish, instead of German, and declaring assimilation a 'crime against humanity'.

Now we have the government of Morocco similarly trying to frustrate the efforst in EUnion member countries to integrate their immigrant citizens. The Moroccan government has founded the 'Conseil de la Communauté marocaine à l'étranger' (Council of the Moroccan community abroad). It's membership is 37 persons large and can be viewed here.

Last year we reported that a member of Second Chamber was supposed to be on this council.
PvdA (labour) MP of Moroccan descent (thus having a dual nationality) Khadija Arib is an advisor to the king of Morocco himself. She serves on a council that aims to guard and strengthen the Moroccan identity of ex-pats (including those that were never born in Morocco). Another aim is to recruit highly placed functionaries of Moroccan descent in, amongst others, the Netherlands for the founding of a High Council that would advise the king and the Moroccan government.
As it turns out the government of Morocco thought better of being seen as openly meddling in the affairs of other states and seems to have chosen people who do not have any political mandate in their respective host countries. The 'Dutch' representatives of the council are:
26-Mohamed El Ouafrassi
27-Nadia Bouras
28 -Khemmar El Bakkali
29 -Abdeslam El Menebhi
The councils mission, however, is unchanged: It is to strengthen the ties between Moroccan expats and the 'home country', even if the expat in question was born abroad. A secondary object of the Council is the spread of 'Arab language and Moroccan culture', particularly in the EU. Hence, one could argue that the above mentioned four are actively opposing our minister of Integration, Ella Vogelaar. One wonders whether mrs. Vogelaar will undertake any action against these agent provocateur, though one isn't holding his breath.

This is all part of a 'National Plan' (FR) by the government of Morocco. The plan is largely aimed at attracting investments from 'MREs' (Marocains Résidents a l'Étranger; Moroccans living abroad), who represent around 10% of the Moroccan population, spreading Moroccan culture among MREs in host countries through the establishment of five 'bilateral spaces of dialogue and friendship' with host countries and paying for moroccan youth born and living abroad staying in their home countries. Overall, the aim seems to be to re-establish authority of the Moroccan government among 'MREs'.

The latter point seems to be borne out by statements made by the minister for the community of Moroccans living abroad, Mohamed Ameur (pictured), who was quoted as saying:
The Moroccan community living abroad must be considered as the 17th province of our country.
To her credit, mrs. Arib reacted negatively to this new 'National Program'. In De Telegraaf (NL) she says: "This minister doesn't understand the situation of Moroccans living abroad. The new generation has a different bond with Morocco then its parents."

So, within a weeks time we have the governments of Turkey and Morocco making strong statements discouraging the integration of what are the two largest (muslim) minority groups in the EUnion. That has got to be just a coincidence, right?

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