Morocco: Belgian women in shorts must be 'beheaded',Islamist

Belgian volunteers were helping build a street

08 August, 13:08

    (by Olga Piscitelli) (ANSAmed) - RABAT, AUGUST 8 - A group of young Belgian volunteer women has been targeted by Moroccan Islamists on social media because ''they work in shorts''. An elementary school teacher urged on social media to ''behead the girls'' and a Senator with the conservative pro-Islamist Justice and Development party raised the case in parliament: ''Is construction work in Europe ever carried out in a bathing suit?'', he said.

    The teacher was arrested while the lawmaker formally asked the interior ministry to examine the documentation and ascertain the true nature of the initiative.

    The episode took place in a little town in the south-eastern Moroccan province of Taroudant but the case became prominent on social media. The young women, who were working to build a street, are part of a Belgian association called Board which has been promoting for over 14 years humanitarian projects in the North-African country. They are all students who are volunteering for the summer.

    Under the scorching sun, they have been working in a T-shirt and shorts and posting photos and videos on Facebook. Their attire has prompted criticism. Senator Ali El Asri published a comment, wondering whether construction work in Europe is ever carried out ''in a bathing suit''. ''Everybody knows how the issue of security on the job is important in Europe: tourists can't get near construction sites without wearing helmets, appropriate clothes and gloves''.

    In the village close to Taroudant, the senator also said, there is no change of clothing for the summer because ''it is a rural and conservative area''. The elementary school teacher subsequently commented the post: ''You are absolutely right, they should be beheaded so that nobody can challenge our religion's teachings''. The teacher was reported to the authorities for instigating terrorism and arrested. The post was removed within 24 hours but the minister's parliamentary question remains. Meanwhile the students have travelled back to Belgium. (ANSAmed)

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