Rabat - The findings of a recent study show that the majority of Moroccans reject secularism.
Rabat – The findings of a recent study show that the majority of Moroccans reject secularism.
The study conducted by the Tunisian institution Sigma in partnership with the German Konrad Adenauer Foundation and the Arab Observatory of Religions and freedoms shows that Moroccan Algerian, Libyans and Egyptians are highly religious, while Tunisians remain an exception in the region.
The results of the study, which have not yet officially been released were revealed by the French Website Jeune Afrique. The questionnaire focused on three main aspects: the relationship of the respondents with Islam and political Islam, the respondents’ attitudes towards Islamic extremism and finally their opinion about the so-called Islamic State (ISIS) and its heinous atrocities.
The study shows that Islam is the first defining feature of the peoples from North Africa. Fifty-two percent of Moroccan respondents define themselves as Muslims first and foremost, 52.2 of Egyptians, 58.5 % of Algerians, and 63.2 % of Libyans respectively also see Islam as their first defining feature, while the number did not exceed 37.6 % in Tunisia.
The holy month of Ramadan is regarded as a sacred month in all the North African countries. The study shows that 95 % of the respondents perform their regular prayer during the month of Ramadan.
While they regard that the degree of religiosity is a personal affair, 95.4% of Moroccan respondents that that all citizen irrespective of their religious beliefs should cherish the same rights and freedoms. Surprisingly, only 85.3% of Tunisians believe in equal rights for citizens, which is a harbinger of the rise of religious fundamentalism in this country.
As far as the Niqab is concerned, (which is the full covering of the face except the eyes) 42.8 % of Moroccan respondents believe that it has no foundation in Islam and, thus, reject it completely, while 19 % of the respondents reject it partially.
The study also shows that the majority of Moroccans reject secularism since only 36.4% expressed favorable opinions of it. Observers say that this could be explained by the fact that the image of Islam in Morocco is linked to the monarchy, which combines both religious and political authority.