How Tunisia’s Moderate Imams Are Seeking to Reclaim Islam From Extremists | US News & World Report
Morocco’s imam training program is inspiring Tunisia’s efforts to turn the tide against radicalization:
The imams have a very important and symbolic role,” she said. They need to reclaim the mosques that have been influenced by imams targeting youth with radical discourse, and they need to address the youths’ grievances. Religious leaders play a key role for young people and should discuss the nature of being a young Muslim and how to take part in the community and improve society, she said.
“The imams can definitely be a catalyst for citizenship and [develop] the feeling of community,” she added. “They have a responsibility.”
To train its imams, Tunisia has looked to Morocco as a model.
Morocco has become known for a multifaceted approach to counter radicalization that promotes a tolerant spirit of religious traditions and learning that includes a TV channel and radio stations. The approach was initiated after a terrorist attack in Casablanca in 2003, when 12 young men from a poor suburb of the city attacked a luxury hotel, a Jewish community center and a Spanish restaurant full of tourists, killing 33 people. In March 2014, the two countries began working together on religious reforms and the education of Tunisian imams in Morocco. The aim is for young Muslims to follow in the imams’ footsteps toward moderate Islam.
“Morocco can be a model for us,” Ounissi said…[FULL STORY]