A literary attempt to do justice to the story of Moroccans who found themselves in the midst of a world war and the paradox of fighting in the ranks of the occupier, with the continuation of the “conspiracies of the French occupation” and the “denial” of to them.
“The War of Gom”, a novel by writer and scholar Muhammad Al-Mazouz that follows his novel “With What Sin Did I Travel”, which was nominated in the short list for the Outstanding Arabic Novel Prize “Booker”, knowing that his novel “Rafeef Al-Fusoul” was previously crowned the Moroccan Book Prize.
Mohamed Al-Mazouz told Hespress that “the Gom war” is “a celebration of the forgotten Moroccans, they are: Gom who participated in the First and Second World Wars with France against Germany, and played a humanitarian, historical and heroic. papers, but few talk about it, and even Moroccan academics didn’t talk about it enough”.
Al-Mazouz added: “My motivation for writing this novel is that human rights associations in Italy have filed a lawsuit against Morocco, alleging that the Gome, the Moroccan soldiers in Italy, had raped Italian women. This is a topic that provoked me, and in my trips to the National Center for Sociological Research, I obtained documents that said the opposite of the narrative in the Italian civil society claim, and they were certainly misled.”
He continued, “France, especially Pétain, and the Church in the Vatican, noted the strength of Moroccans in wars and their belief in the cause because Sultan Muhammad V had called in the mosques at that time for Moroccans to offer themselves as volunteers in the war with France against Germany, which made it a liability, since the sultan’s order is a religious matter; The warning was against Muslims gathered in the barracks, who eat, pray in congregation, read the Koran in congregation and they suffer the good affliction in war, and it was a warning document that I clung to saying: (Islam will come), and this is one of the roots of Islamophobia.
Al-Mazouz added: “I am talking about the bright face of Moroccan Islam, not extremist Islam.”
The novel was based on a true story in the city of Oujda, and a family that participated in the war, among its members Issa and Musa, who tell of the tolerance of Moroccans in Tunisia, and the attempt to save Jewish families from the Nazism. and his introduction to Oujda, including the Baruch family, which resulted in a love affair. The novel took this human path; Love without fanaticism or prejudice of religious affiliation.
The “hero” of the novel, Issa and Musa, according to Al-Mazouz, “liberated Monte Cassino in Italy, and tell of the suffering of the Moroccans, and their lack of conviction to fight with colonial and oppressive France, and their sense human says: It was rather that we fought or resisted for the liberation of Morocco and not for France.”
It is these “contradictions in obsessions” that “are built on the worlds of the novel, which will eventually end when Jesus discovers the malice of French colonialism and this plan to disfigure people, before Pétain accuses him of being crazy and eject. from the war.” with the.
Al-Mazouz mentioned that in the novel there is an observance of “Moroccan sacrifices and the preference of Morocco over France in the face of the latter’s denial.” The Moroccans gave their provisions and animals to the French army in the war, but this disguise was fulfilled.
Choosing to speak of historical facts through literature, Al-Mazouz said: “The emotional spaces of the novel allow the reader to believe in what he writes, and people frankly do not read now, unfortunately, what is intellectual, theoretical and academic. and now there is acceptance of the novel”.
At the end of his statement to Hespress, the novelist beautifully pronounced on his latest literary work by saying: “I chose the novel because it is readable in the world, translatable, and because it is a more influential discourse than a theoretical discourse that only a reading of very limited elite.”