“Women, just by virtue of their role in society, have so much contact with the people—children, young people, other women, even men. “We give them an education so they can offer it in a scholarly way.”The morchidat program leverages a woman’s familial and social influence to combat radical Islam at the level of the sidewalks—and at individual mosques.
“We’ve found over the years that if we have women organize something at the mosque, 450 people show up.
As Maddy Crowell noted in The Atlantic, “Germany, Britain, and Belgium have developed programs that focus on further integrating radicals into their community. It looks like early intervention and not necessarily and maybe not ideally by government officials.”Early intervention spearheaded by local community leaders and groups, as opposed to government officials, was a focus of America’s CVE approach under the Obama administration.
Saudi Arabia, on the other hand, focuses on finding jobs and wives for recruited jihadists.” But programs that reach people once they’ve already been radicalized might come too late. “Community leaders, neighborhood leaders have a comparative advantage in a number of different dimensions,” Sales said.
The only alleged survivor of the 2015 Paris rampage is a Frenchman of Moroccan origin; his trial began last week.
The men behind the Brussels airport and tram bombings that happened months later were also ethnic Moroccans.
This is an important requirement because it typically takes years to memorize the Quran, and if incoming students are already deeply familiar with the texts, the center can focus on interpretation instead of memorization. The Moroccan government picks up the tab for tuition, room and board, books, medical care, flights home, and small monthly stipends.
Of the roughly 250 new students accepted each year, nearly half are women.
Men are also trained at the Rabat school, but it’s the hundreds of female graduates who are having the most impact, according to the program director, Abdeslam El-Azaar.“I’ll tell you frankly, the women scholars here are even more important than men,” said El-Azaar, a thin grandfatherly man in a cream-colored Moroccan tunic and a burgundy fez. So it is natural for them to provide advice,” he said.like Hidra suggest the solution is less doctrinaire.They walk young people through Quranic passages that emphasize tolerance, and provide gentler interpretations of passages that could be taken to promote violence.The school is surrounded by white stucco houses and colorful explosions of bougainvillea.The campus itself is hidden behind a succession of wrought iron gates; security is tight, as many Islamists don’t approve of their moderate teachings. Students apply from all over the Arab world and Africa; only about 10 percent are accepted.The suspected driver of the van that mowed down shoppers in Barcelona was Moroccan-born.Some 1,600 Moroccans are thought to have joined extremist groups, mainly ISIS, since 2012, with some 300 still fighting with ISIS, according to Moroccan Interior Ministry figures.Since then, she has been working as a full-time employee of the Ministry of Islamic Affairs in the inner-city neighborhoods of Casablanca. His history lesson, they said, was blasphemous, contradicting the words of the Prophet. “These were exactly the signs we were told to look for—how they dressed, how they acted at school, and how they talked about religion,” she told me later.“It was clear they had picked up ideas about Islam that were taking them down the wrong path.” Hidra asked them if she could help.Although these figures are low compared to, say, Tunisia’s—some 7,000 Tunisians joined the group over the same period—the death toll in Europe has brought into focus the need for prevention and Morocco has come to play an outsized role in the debate over how, exactly, young people can be stopped from embracing radical Islam.It’s one of many countries around the world experimenting with various “countering violent extremism” (CVE) or de-radicalization programs.