Morocco: Fez uni to act as anti-ISIS cultural bulwark

Royal decree to turn it into center of moderate Islamic training

02 July, 18:39

    Fez's Qaraouiyne university in Morocco Fez's Qaraouiyne university in Morocco

    RABAT - Fez's Qaraouiyne university is the oldest in the world and is the only Arab university founded by a woman.

    Set up in 859 and still fully active, a royal decree will now make it into a hub for studies on contemporary Islam and a cultural bulwark against ISIS. The university acts as a benchmark for moderate-leaning, top-quality education in religious studies, history, jurisprudence and Islamic philosophy. The royal decree, the most recent of a number of measures launched to reassert the Moroccan character of the religion linked to the Malakite school, which includes a ban on imams taking positions on political and union issues, is now focusing on training.

    Under royal auspices, the university will remain independent from the economic and academic point of view but will have to draw up a number of reforms to promote Islam, develop research on the text of the Quran and study Moroccan history and doctrine in greater depth, focusing especially on comparative jurisprudence. The step is an attempt to come apace with the contemporary world with further, modern training for religious authorities - from the ulema to mosque preachers. For this reason, the Fez university will be called upon to form a network with such training institutions as Morocco's Institute of Islamic Thought and Civilization and the Royal Institute of History Studies. (ANSAmed).

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