Why Morocco is the “perfect candidate” to lead the fight against extremism:
By his country’s law and custom, the king is “commander of the faithful,” a religious role that allows him to promote his nation’s “mystical” and quietist form of Islam over forms that focus on using violence to make social change. Morocco’s main form of Islam emphasizes the changing of the self through increasing discipline and deepening obedience; radical Salafi forms of Islam (embraced by al Qaeda, ISIS and parts of the Muslim Brotherhood) stress murdering and maiming innocents to stampede the survivors into submission.
This is a war of ideas. On its outcome hangs the future of five different civilizations (Arab, Chinese, Indian, Russian and Western). So it is vital to supply the right ideas to the right people at the right time across the region.
The king is already making substantial progress. Using his own funds, he awards more than 500 scholarships for imams every year, enabling the clerics to come to Morocco to study its time-tested form of Islam. This strategic move gives imams in Mali, Mauritania and other West African nations the intellectual ammunition and confidence to argue against extremism. One of ironies of these debates is that the extremists often know very, very little of the Koran and the Sharia that they seek to impose. Since they would lose, radicals are now starting to avoid getting into public arguments with imams…[full story]