Two prominent Muslim politicians – Moulay Omar Benhammad, 63, and Fatima Nejjar, 62, above – have been suspended from Morocco’s Unity and Reform Movement (MUR) after they were allegedly caught having sex in a car on a beach.
The pair are known for preaching the importance of chastity and were both serving as vice presidents of the party.
According to this report by Harry Cockburn of the Independent, police said the pair were found in a “sexual position” in the car. The incident is said to have occurred last Saturday at a beach in the port city of Mohammedia, about 16 miles north of Casablanca and 40 miles south of the Moroccan capital, Rabat.
Benhammad, who is married and has seven children, was charged with attempted corruption. Nejjar, a widowed mother of six, was charged with complicity to adultery.
The pair were released from custody and are due to appear in court on 1 September.
MUR, part of another, more prominent party in the country, the Justice Development Party (PJD), released a statement this week saying the pair had been “suspended from all structures of the movement”, while party officials from PJD said the incident was an “extremely serious fault” that amounted to:
A violation of the principles of the movement, its orientation and its values.
Benhammad reportedly said he lives with Najjar in a common-law marriage and added that his wife does not want him prosecuted for adultery.
Extramarital sex in Morocco in punishable by up to a year in jail.
Following the incident, videos of Nejjar telling female students not to give in to “temptation and vice” were widely shared on social media.