In Morocco, I’ve been told more than once, they don’t have jihadists. Islam is different there. It’s a long way from Morocco to Saudi Arabia or Afghanistan. Yet Morocco too doesn’t seem free of jihadist sentiment. “Jihadists in Jails Win Leverage Over Their Keepers,” by Michael Moss and Souad Mekhennet for the New York Times (thanks to all who sent this in):
CASABLANCA, Morocco “” Ahmed Rafiki sprawled on the makeshift couch in his cell, a fresh red henna dye in his long hair and beard.
As Muhammad recommended.
Known to other militants as the father of Moroccan jihadists, he was convicted in 2003 of leading young men to fight Americans in Afghanistan. But here in Oukacha Prison, Mr. Rafiki, an Islamist cleric, is serving the final months of his sentence in style.
His kitchen and larder are stocked three times a week by his two wives. His curtained doorway leads to a private garden and bath. He has two radios and a television, a reading stand for his Koran and a wardrobe of crisply ironed Islamic attire.
“In my case,” he said with a smile, “the people treat me well.”
Hardly a scene of harsh interrogation and detention for which Moroccan prisons are known, Mr. Rafiki’s plush prison life is evidence of an awkward balancing act between the crackdown on militants in many countries and the power those militants can hold over the authorities.
Through hunger strikes and protests, Mr. Rafiki and Oukacha’s 65 other militant inmates have won perks “” including exclusive use of the conjugal rooms “” that make them the envy of the prison’s 7,600 other inmates.
One recent morning, a prisoner advocate handed the warden a long list of inmates not linked to terrorism cases who were demanding equal time with their wives.
–˜Why do they get much more rights than we get here?– the advocate, Assia El Ouadie, said the other prisoners constantly asked her. –˜Do you want us to become terrorism prisoners, and then we will get those rights?–
Read it all.