Morocco trains up its own ‘tolerant’ imams

To counter the Wahabist influence in the mosques, Morocco is training imams (and female imams) in a moderate, ‘tolerant ‘version of Islam, and ‘exporting’ them to France. Story by Irina Tsukerman in the Algemeiner (With thanks: Michelle):

Training institute for Moroccan imams

So far, Morocco’s approach to countering religious extremism
has been successful: the country has not had a terrorist attack since 2011.

The three-pronged
approach relies on surveillance of mosques, social integration and outreach,
and education. The education of male and female imams ensures both the study of
substantive theology interpreted in a moderate and tolerant way, which has been
central to Morocco’s thousands of years of interreligious and interethnic

 This education is combined with other disciplines
that complement the religious courses and expand the worldviews of the
For instance, the Institute particularly encourages
female imams, with the reasoning that they will then reach out to and educate
other women in their communities and countries, thus combating the spread of
extremism in countries where literacy is low, and women are frequently marginalized and easily manipulated  by poorly regulated religious authorities.

There are three tracks for all the students at the Institute — a year-long track for Moroccans, and 2/3 year tracks for other African and French students, who face tough competition and require nomination by a community or an organization to be considered for the program.

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