“Insecurity and crime were rampant well before Tcharmil came along”
Insecurity in Casablanca, or any other large Moroccan city for that matter, is by no means new. Insecurity and crime were already rampant well before Tcharmil came along. Physical attacks and armed robbery have been problems in Morocco for many, many years. This is not surprising, given the level of inequality in our society.Personally, I don’t find these “mcharlines” very credible, mostly because those who adopt the Tcharmil codes are not always very discreet. They act out and boast of their exploits on social networks, which isn’t exactly what real criminals would do. Not only do such boasts harm them, as they are seemingly admitting their guilt, but they also provide the residents of Casablanca an easy group to blame for the violence in their city.Since the Tcharmil phenomenon has come about, the streets of Casablanca are abuzz with all kinds of rumours. Lately, there have been reports of sabre attacks in some stores. I believe the authorities are partially responsible for this mass delusion. This type of rhetoric stirs up unjustified fears. Certainly, violence is a reality and a serious problem, but the policy dialogue on this issue should be more dispassionate.
“In Casablanca, ‘Tcharmil’ has replaced the word ‘attack”
Several weeks ago, I was the victim of an attack in the streets of Casablanca. Nothing out of the ordinary in a city contaminated by violence, except that my attacker had a very long knife, one of Tcharmil’s distinctive symbols [Editor’s note: in March, several knife attacks were reported]. The young man had unfocused eyes and seemed to be on drugs. He was swinging his blade in the air as if he wanted to decapitate me. Luckily, he wasn’t all there, mentally, and he ended up leaving.
Lately, in Casablanca, there have been many reports of knife violence, and since this is the weapon of choice for mcharlines, one no longer says “I was a victim of an attack” but rather “I was a victim of a Tcharmil”.