04 October 2014
At face value, a recent one minute video clip on You Tube leaves little doubt about support for the Islamic State, the jihadist group that controls a swath of Syria and Iraq, among supporters of storied Moroccan soccer club Raja Club Athletic.
The clip released by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) shows fans of the Casablanca club that prides itself on its nationalist credentials dating back to opposition to colonial French rule and its reputation as the team of ordinary Moroccans chanting: “Daesh, Daesh,” the Arabic acronym for the Islamic State, and “God is Great, let’s go on jihad.”
The clip appeared to reaffirm the Islamic State’s widespread emotional appeal to youth across the Middle East and North Africa rather than a willingness to actually become a foreign fighter in Syria or Iraq notwithstanding last week’s arrest of nine people in Morocco as well as a Spanish enclave in the country on suspicion of links to the Islamic State and the fact that an estimated 1,500 Moroccan nationals are believed to have joined the group.
…James M. Dorsey is a senior fellow at Nanyang Technological University’s S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore and the author of the blog, The Turbulent World of Middle East Soccer.
RSIS / Online
Last updated on 09/10/2014