Category Archives: Morocco

The best Algerian restaurant in the principality

Maghreb cuisine in Ceredigion

After an enjoyable day in the Cardiganshire coastal town of Aberystwyth, Dr and Dr (Mme) Dalrymple dine in

a Moroccan restaurant. Actually it was Algerian, but as the owner, an Algerian, pointed out, no one in Aberystwyth has heard of Algeria.

It was, says Dalrymple,

instructive to talk to someone such as he, for then you begin to realise how many remarkable people there are in the world.

How, the doctor-writer asks,

does one go from being a teacher of French and Arabic in Algeria to being the owner and chef of a restaurant in Aberystwyth? He had been in Wales for forty years, and on the wall of his restaurant were the flags of Algeria and Wales, by coincidence of the same colouration. He loved his adopted country, which speaks well of it.

The tajine

was as good as I had eaten anywhere.

Types of Muslim perversion: Gramscian and Stalinist

Islamisation of the young — fundamentalism sweeps them

One view, Dalrymple notes, is that the radicalisation of a small minority of the Muslim young of Brussels (the European city with the highest proportion of Muslims)

was brought about not from the influence of their immigrant parents, or by the religious institutions in their country of origin (mainly Morocco), but by the preaching of members of the Muslim Brotherhood on the one hand, and of Wahhabi or Salafist missionaries on the other.

Dalrymple explains the difference between the two strains.

  • Muslim Brotherhood: new-Left, or Gramscian, wing of Islamism. Claims (at least for public consumption) an ‘interpretive’ reading of the Koran. Even has a feminist wing
  • Wahhabists: old-Left, or Stalinist, flank of Islamism. Cleaves to literalism. Obligation for women to wear the veil incontestable

Repression carried out in the name of tolerance

screen-shot-2017-01-04-at-18-02-08Dalrymple points out that the judge in the Geert Wilders case

had to maintain that the Moroccans were a race, because the law does not recognise nationality or national origin as grounds for legal protection from insult and critical comment. This gave rise to a certain amount of hilarity. If nationality were to be confounded with race, Dutch law would henceforth have to recognize a Belgian race, a Swiss race, etc.

The idea, writes Dalrymple,

that there are certain groups in need of special protection from offence is incoherent and condescending, partaking of the qualities that the idea is supposed to be eliminating from the wicked human mind. The number of human groups that have, or could be, subjected to humiliation, discrimination, or worse is almost infinite. Persecution on economic grounds, for example, has been at least as frequent as persecution on racial grounds. To select a few groups for special protection is irreducibly discriminatory. It is a little like protecting certain species from the ravages of hunters because they are threatened with extinction and unlike other species are unable to protect themselves by fecundity, say, or by camouflage.

A couple of members of the Belgian race

A couple of members of the Belgian race

On the one hand, when Wilders

asks a crowd whether it wants more or fewer Moroccans in the Netherlands, I try to put myself in the position of a Moroccan, or Dutch citizen of Moroccan descent, and imagine what it is like to be regarded by a popular politician, almost ex officio, as a nuisance or a plague, even though all I want to do is to fit in with the society around me. It takes little imagination to understand how uncomfortable it would be.

On the other hand,

it would be incumbent upon me as an immigrant or descendent of an immigrant to try to understand why the majority population might not want their society to be fundamentally altered by immigration and why they might be in favour of a limitation of numbers of immigrants. In fact, it is by no means uncommon for members of immigrant groups themselves to wish such a limitation, for fear of provoking a backlash.

Tact, and imaginative sympathy for others, cannot, says Dalrymple,

be legislated. The clumsy attempt to decree tolerance has inflamed the opposite.