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In recent months, Morocco has seen rising tension between Islamists and secularists, escalating from wars of words to physical violence. The tension culminated in the April 24 killing by left-wing extremists of a student leader of Al-Tajdid al-Tollabi (Student Renewal), a group close to the ruling Islamist Justice and Development Party (PJD). The group specifically objected to the participation of Hamieddine, whom they accuse of taking part in the death of Mohammad Benaissa Ait al-Jid in 1993 during clashes between Islamists and left-wing students at the very same university. Although this was not the first time that clashes between Islamist and leftist students had broken out – Moroccan Universities went through sporadic student violence between leftists and Islamists in the 1990s that caused some deaths and many injuries – in the more recent clashes, a student belonging to a group closely affiliated with the ruling PJD was targeted.Likewise, the of the Interior and Higher Education ministries signed a joint protocol granting security forces the right to intervene on campuses without the university president's permission should there be a threat to public security. However, they banned several student activities, including one memorial for the slain student at the crime scene. While it is difficult to prove that the authorities are turning a blind eye to the actions of the left-wing group, the state's security-oriented mentality does put a premium on maintaining a balance of power at universities between Islamists and secularists.
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