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Morocco: The case of radical Islamist movement al-Adl wal-Ihsan.

Tens of thousands of Moroccans gather at the historic Sunna mosque in central Rabat for the funeral of Abdessalam Yassine, founder of a radical Moroccan Islamist movement, on 14 December 2012. (Photo Credit to  AFP - Fadel Senna)

Tens of thousands of Moroccans gather at the historic Sunna mosque in central Rabat for the funeral of Abdessalam Yassine, founder of a radical Moroccan Islamist movement, on 14 December 2012. (Photo Credit to AFP – Fadel Senna)

Across the Middle East, a critical question for regimes and peoples alike is “Are Islamists rising or fading?” Egypt under President al-Sisi is one story; Iraq and Syria facing the ISIS challenge is another.

In Morocco, the banned but highly influential Islamist opposition group al-Adl wal-Ihsan (Justice and Benevolence) is at a crossroads. The 2012 death of the group’s supreme guide, Sheikh Abdessalam Yassine, an inveterate adversary of Morocco’s political establishment, coupled with possible internal cleavages and other political changes, has raised questions about the future of the organization that could have important repercussions for stability and security throughout the kingdom. Will al-Adl wal-Ihsan reconcile with the monarchy and pursue an increased role in Morocco’s politics or will it suffer internal feuds and fade into political obscurity?

Although its course remains unclear, what is certain is that the group’s popularity — even clout — will make it a player in Morocco’s evolving politics in the turbulent years ahead. Read PAPER here.