Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Moroccan Government " Invites" Imams from Netherlands

This article was posted on Radio Netherlands website, it is pasted below:

At least 40 imams on surprise visit to Morocco

Published: Tuesday 28 October 2008 20:05 UTC

Last updated: Tuesday 28 October 2008 20:05 UTC

The governing bodies of mosques in the Netherlands are alarmed by the departure of at least 40 imams for a government-paid trip to Morocco. The authorities in Rabat invited the imams to Morocco and the clerics left without consulting the boards which administer the mosques. Nearly a quarter of the imams in the Netherlands are taking part in the trip.

A Moroccan organisation in the Netherlands says the Moroccan authorities have been increasingly interfering with the affairs of mosques in the Netherlands. The group says the imams feel they have no choice but to accept such invitations, a situation which it describes as "undesirable".

Labour MP Jeroen Dijsselbloem says the affair is yet another example of Moroccan government interference with Moroccans living in the Netherlands. He has asked the cabinet to raise the issue with the Moroccan authorities. As a result of the imams' unannounced departure, many Muslims went to the mosque for Friday prayers only to find them closed. There are around 170 Muslim houses of worship in the Netherlands.

Monday, October 27, 2008

The Rain is News - Flooding in Morocco

Highest amount of rain in more than three decades, here is the al-Jazeera article about the rain hitting Morocco and a link to the BBC article . Stay Dry!

Morocco floods cause havoc

Women brave flood waters in Ceuta, a Spanish autonomous city bordering Morocco [EPA]
Flash floods following torrential rains across Morocco have claimed the lives of at least 13 people, overwhelmed emergency services and forced factories and businesses to close.
Eleven people were killed in the village of Driouch, 500km north of Rabat, when 20 homes collapsed in what local authorities described as the heaviest rains in the area for more than 20 years.
Local officials confirmed on Friday that a two-year-old child was among the dead.
Two more people were swept away by flood waters in Tangier after a river overflowed its banks, submerging 170 manufacturing plants.
Workers trapped
Thousands of the city's industrial workers were left stranded for most of Thursday night as water levels reached 1.5 metres. The men were eventually rescued by the emergency services.
Morocco's official news agency, MAP, quoted a Tangier's businessman as saying: "All the plants in the manufacturing area, which employs up to 30,000 workers, were shut down and will need four weeks to three months to resume work."
Business leaders have reported damage to machinery and products - mostly textiles for export to Europe.
Khalid Naciri, a government spokesman, said: 'It's been exceptionally bad weather, and the government has mobilised to help the affected populations and repair infrastructure destroyed by the floods."
Morocco's interior ministry confirmed emergency services, including army units, had been dispatched to help residents. Officials said the northeastern city of Taza had also suffered major damage caused by the floods.
Rain levels in the north African country have been at their highest for 35 years during the past month, according to weather officials.