King Mohammed VI of Morocco has signed a royal decree that prevents all religious leaders in the country from taking part in any political activity. In an attempt to curb religious leaders from disturbing peace within his nation, the king’s decree asserts how imams and Islamic preachers are prohibited from adopting any political stance publicly.
The decree called on everyone who works in any religious capacity to display characteristics of righteousness, poise and prowess as well as refrain from getting involved in any activity that seeks financial gain in either private or public sectors unless of course they have a written license from the government itself. However, the decree does exclude intellectual, educational and creative works that do not contradict the nature of tasks assigned by religious institutions. It also stipulates the setting up of a commission that will tackle complaints against all religious institutions hereafter.
According to the decree, religious leaders must take into consideration the sanctity of locations allocated for Islamic rituals and the honour of wearing Moroccan attires while committing to the principles of Ash’arj doctrine, school of Maliki and principles of Morocco. The decree in questions seems to be part of what Rabat called reforms in the religious field, something the Moroccan government tried to do after Casablanca witnessed a series of terror attacks in 2003.
However, political analysts are of the opinion that Mohammed has learnt a lesson from what came upon the former rulers of Tunisia and Egypt and has merely tried to secure his own position by issuing this particular decree that prevents Islamists from participating in politics. Uprisings in 2011 led to the ousting of Tunisian autocrat Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak.