Rabat - The Ministry of Religious Endowments and Islamic Affairs decided to dismiss the imam of Mosque Ibrahim Alkhalil in Salé on May 4, for preaching against increasing prices on food products and the ongoing boycott in Morocco during Friday prayers.
Rabat – The Ministry of Religious Endowments and Islamic Affairs decided to dismiss the imam of Mosque Ibrahim Alkhalil in Salé on May 4, for preaching against increasing prices on food products and the ongoing boycott in Morocco during Friday prayers.
When Imam Mustafa Al Mouhri delivered his sermon (khotba) about the ethics of trade in relation to current political and economic circumstances in Morocco, he did not expect to receive a strong state response.
The Ministry of Religious Endowments and Islamic Affairs indicated in a statement published Monday, that it has dismissed the preacher, “who is a retired professor, for his repeated violations to the ‘Guide of the Imam and Preacher,’” which prohibits the discussion of social issues that are borderline “political.”
The statement added that the imam has previously discussed topics outside of the scope of his authority and publicly apologized, referring to his sermon on the Eid al-Fitr, June 26, 2017.
The ministry further stated that this is not the first time that it has warned preachers to avoid political issues in their Friday sermons. Across the country, other imams have also been banned from delivering sermons due to “political speech,” including Yahya Almdaghri, who spoke about the Hirak movement in the northern Rif region of Morocco in February 2016.
The ministry’s decision to dismiss Al Mouhri adds to the backlash surrounding the online boycott against the high prices of three companies: Sidi Ali, Centrale Danone and Afriquia gas station.
Moroccans took to their Facebook pages to denounce the ministry decision.
One facebook user wrote that the ministry took “Sale’s residents by surprise by sacking the imam.” The same commentator said that the imam has always delivered sermons related to high commodity prices in conjunction with the holy month of Ramadan.
Several other internet users echoed the sentiment.
The boycott, which demands that the three sector giants cut the prices of their products remains to date. No official statements have been released, with the exception of an official apology by Centrale Danone, following a statement made by its purchasing director, Adil Benkirane calling boycotters “traitors.”
Consumers have not let up, despite Centrale Danone’s apology statement, as the boycotters have vowed to maintain their protest until the companies cut prices.