The National Interest quotes Africa Center Director J. Peter Pham on Morocco’s efforts to counter radicalization through religious training:

Last March, Rabat inaugurated the “Mohammed VI Institute” for the training of Imams — and the student body includes more than four hundred foreign nationals, emanating largely from Mali, Guinea, Conakry, Ivory Coast, and Gabon (not to mention Tunisia, France, Belgium, and even the Maldives.) This represents the institutionalization of a technique initially developed at the request of the new government in war torn Mali last year: five hundred imams were trained from that country, in order to counter the pro-Qaeda strand in religious leadership, which briefly occupied a piece of the country’s north the size of France.

Training for all these religious leadership figures takes down the warped interpretation of Islamic proof texts, which is the radicals’ stock in trade. It also stressed the salubrious role of women — including as leadership figures: Female imams, known as “murchidate” (“female guides”) learn to share in the administration of mosques and inculcation of their worshippers. J. Peter Pham, Vice President of the Association for the Study of the Middle East and Africa, has studied the Moroccan experience and described Morocco as a “model” and a “beacon” for Africa.

Read the full article here.

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