Essays

What about Fundamentalism?

Rabat - A frequently asked question raised in our discussions is related to fundamentalism. Participants want to know what it is, its origins, its various manifestations, what people here (in Morocco) think about it, how to eradicate it, etc. In many of our discussions, it appeared that the concept "fundamentalism" did not mean the same thing to everyone. In all cases, however, the concept seemed to refer t ...

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Tolerance and Beyond Tolerance!

Rabat - This section is to be read as a synthetic report by the author of a number of seminars on the issue of tolerance which were attended by participants from different backgrounds. An idea which seems to be always lurking in the minds of the participants is that Islam is not tolerant. When the issue comes out, I try to orient the discussion first to understanding what is meant by tolerance. I, of course ...

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The Islam I Grew Up With

Rabat - I am a Muslim born Moroccan citizen. I was born in the early fifties to a family of devout parents and grand parents who were by all standards of the time particularly knowledgeable in scholarly religious matters. This is important to start with as it means that I have learnt the Koran and that I have been exposed to the founding texts of Islam as well as to the major issues related to interpretatio ...

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Impact Of Moroccan Students’ Attitudes Towards English On Speaking Skill – Part 2

Kenitra - This study relies on a questionnaire that was given to two sample groups: 1st year math science BAC stream and 1st year experimental science BAC stream. The first consists of 31 student participants and the second consists of 29 student participants, 60 participants in total. (To read about the finding of the study click here) Class streams can have an effect on attitudes and thus we sought having ...

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Grammar Teaching in Communicative Language Teaching: A Return to Form 

By Otman Boukhzar Fez - The teaching of grammar has always stirred controversy among researchers. Historically, the question of whether grammar should be taught explicitly or implicitly has always been hotly debated; while the deductive method is traditionally associated with the dreaded grammar-based approaches, the inductive method is closely linked to the communication-based approaches which have won mom ...

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The Role of Information Literacy in Higher Education

By Abdelhamid Nfissi and Aziz El Hassani Fez - The tsunami of information in today's world has urged modern societies to explore and develop new intelligent search skills and behaviors while accessing and using information from different sources. Such skills are known as information literacy (IL) skills. Information literacy (IL) has therefore become a new paradigm and the most critical sets of skills in to ...

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Cultural Stereotypes about Female Sexual Threat in Morocco

El Jadida - Generally, Moroccan women are not invested with continual cultural authority like men. In popular culture, they are stereotypically considered as inferior, capricious and untrustworthy. They by no means form a homogenous class. There are bourgeois and middle-class educated women who enjoy a larger degree of freedom by having access to the public domain and do not give much importance to ritual s ...

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Ashura and the Ritual Emancipation of Women in Morocco

El Jadida - Anthropologically speaking, the popular Islamic ritual of Ashura has been approached as a pagan survival in Morocco. There is a traditional thesis on Ashura that it is an Islamic ceremony incorporated by the newly Islamized Berbers as early natives to substitute the ancient practice of burial and resurrection of the vegetation deity. Westermarck refutes the thesis of a primeval God burial on the ...

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The Spectrum of Language Choice for Moroccan Education

Rabat - Two or three years ago, a colleague with whom I was hardly acquainted called and asked me to join what he referred to as an elite group of Moroccan Anglophone intellectuals and activists interested in the linguistic situation of Morocco and eager to replace French with English as the country’s second language. He said, not without some pride, that many leading intellectuals and influential political ...

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The Impact of Moroccan Students’ Attitudes towards English Language on Speaking Skill – Part 1

Kenitra - "Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference." - Winston Churchill 1 - Understanding attitudes It is fairly clear that embarking on this research requires the definition of the most relevant concept. The word ‘attitude’ is a flimsy one. Its meaning is evasive. The word is used in different contexts interchangeably with other words such as ‘motivation’, ‘beliefs’, or ‘impression’. If we ...

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“The Bus Runs From Me”: Scapegoating the Other in Moroccan Culture

El Jadida, Morocco - The social representation of the other in the Moroccan popular culture of Islam is mainly grounded in the culturally embedded conception of possession popularized by a maraboutic cultural worldview. The concept of the other may be regarded as positional constituting whatever is radically different from the social categories of the same and whatever represents an urgent threat by virtue ...

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The Islam-bashing season is officially open in the West

Rabat – There is no shadow of doubt hat the terrible acts of terrorism of Charlie Hebdo in Paris on January 7, 2015 are condemnable, by any cultural or religious standards of any human civilization. Violence wrecks the lives of individuals, families and societies and sows fear and hatred for years to come, if not to say for decades.  Terrorism must, definitely, be checked, fought and, most importantly, stif ...

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