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Long IslandObituaries

Abdessalam Yassine, Moroccan opposition leader, dies

RABAT, Morocco -- Sheikh Abdessalam Yassine, the charismatic religious leader of Morocco's largest opposition movement and longtime opponent of two Moroccan kings, died Thursday. He was 84.

Yassine, who founded Adl wal Ihsan (Justice and Spirituality), accused the monarchy of being corrupt and dictatorial and questioned its claim to religious legitimacy. His spent a decade under house arrest at the hands of Morocco's former ruler King Hassan II.

Yassine refused to accept the king's title as Commander of the Faithful and his group went on to become an important part of the pro-democracy Feb. 20 Movement that demonstrated in the streets for much of 2011 seeking political reform and an end to corruption as part of the regionwide Arab Spring.

With the victory of a moderate Islamist opposition party in November, Yassine's movement withdrew from protests and has largely remained quiet, giving the new government time to enact reforms.

Despite his controversial position on the monarchy, Yassine's funeral was held Friday at the main mosque in the capital Rabat, according to a statement by his organization.-- AP

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