Thursday, August 27, 2009
Morocco Sends Preachers to Europe for Ramadan
It is the month of Ramadan - Alhamdulilah- which is why the posting is a little less. Here is an article from al-arabiya on how the Moroccan government sends Muslim "preachers" to serve Moroccan communities in Europe. There could be a lot of pros and cons to this program, but let us attempt to give things the benefit of the doubt during this blessed month.
Ramadan initiative aimed at protecting Moroccans abroad
Morocco sends preachers to Europe for Ramadan
RABAT (Hassan al-Ashraf)
Morocco's Ministry of Endowments and Islamic Affairs has sent a delegation of preachers to Europe as part of a plan to encourage moderate Islam and preserve cultural identity in its expatriate communities during the holy month of Ramadan.
" In comparison to other Arab countries, Morocco has a unique experience regarding the image of Islam in general and the practice of Islam in Morocco in particular "
Rashid Moqtader, religious researcherThe campaign, now in its second year, aims to protect Moroccans in Europe from extremist Islamist trends that spread hatred and incite violence as well as promoting a moderate vision of Islam, said religious researcher Dr. Rashid Moqtader.
"The preachers sent to Europe are chosen by the local scholarly councils and approved by the Supreme Council of Ulema and the Ministry of Islamic Affairs," he told Al Arabiya. "Their mission is to teach Moroccan communities in Europe Islam as is it is practiced in Morocco."
The campaign also aims to highlight the role of Morocco in the reformation of religious discourse inside and outside the country.
"In comparison to other Arab countries, Morocco has a unique experience regarding the image of Islam in general and the practice of Islam in Morocco in particular," he added.
The delegation will work on helping communities in Europe to preserve their national and religious identity, said Dr. Ahmed Boukili, expert on Islamic thought and civilization.
" There are many attempts at erasing the identity of Moroccans in Europe and gradually reducing them to a sheer ethnic minority "
Ahmed Boukili, Islamic expert"There are many attempts at erasing the identity of Moroccans in Europe and gradually reducing them to a sheer ethnic minority," he told Al Arabiya. "This necessitates forging a new religious politics to guide these communities towards the preservation of their heritage."
Boukili called upon government officials in charge of religious affairs to study the possibility of establishing a national university for preachers.
"Morocco is going through a crisis as far as preaching is concerned. This university will graduate preachers qualified to reform the religious discourse and cater to the demands of Moroccans living abroad."
Ramadan is the holiest month in the Islamic calendar and is a time of prayer and fasting.
(Translated from Arabic by Sonia Farid)