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Morocco will control religious narrative

Friday, September 23, 2022

Significance

The government is eager to present Morocco as a bastion of moderate Islam; it articulates and enforces a narrow definition of ‘Moroccan Islam’. Since King Mohammed VI ascended to the throne in 1999, the state has created numerous religious institutions, which it uses as powerful tools in domestic and foreign affairs.

Impacts

  • Prominent Moroccan Islamic scholars abroad, such as the prolific Ahmed Raissouni, can pose diplomatic problems for Morocco.
  • Morocco’s investment in religious institutions has inspired a more modest investment in parallel institutions by its rival, Algeria.
  • The case of Fatima Karim, the imprisoned blogger, may act as a deterrent for other atheists or sceptics in the country.
  • Morocco’s intensifying relationship with Israel could hurt its bid for leadership within the global Muslim community.

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