June 26, 2011

LEE SMITH: The King’s Speech: Morocco’s Constitutional Reform Deserves Support In Washington.

On July 1 Moroccans will vote on a set of constitutional changes proposed by their king, Mohammed VI. These new amendments guarantee the full equality of women and the rights of minorities, like the Berbers, whose language, Amazigh, will now be an official language alongside Arabic; they criminalize torture, establish the independence of the judiciary, and invest more executive authority in a head of government chosen from the party that wins the most seats in parliament.

The king’s speech announcing these proposed amendments didn’t win the international attention afforded the street demonstrations that brought down longstanding authoritarian regimes in Tunisia and Egypt, but here’s a Muslim-majority Middle Eastern state where reform has become a reality, not a slogan. The pity is that the Obama administration seems oblivious.

Given their recent diplomatic record, that’s probably the best thing for Morocco.

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