The Minister of Religious Endowments says 1442 closed mosques will need a total of MAD 2 billion to reopen.
By Kawtar Ennaji
Rabat – Minister of Religious Endowments and Islamic Affairs, Ahmed Toufiq, said the ministry plans to freeze its investments in mosques, new administrative institutions, and Quranic schools in order to address the problem of closed mosques.
During a question session at the House of Representatives held Monday, June 17, Toufiq discussed the ministry’s efforts to recondition mosques closed since 2011. He went on to indicate that “the closure of mosques is implemented based on a review by a specialized committee after the confirmation of a real threat.”
Toufiq revealed that, since 2011, experts conducted 4,661 technical expertise operations at a total cost of MAD 140 million, resulting in the closure of 3,007 mosques.
He added that the ministry has supervised the renovation of 910 mosques at a cost of MAD 473 million, the reconditioned mosques have since been reopened to worshipers. There are currently 466 mosques in the renovation phase at a total cost of MAD 962 million, while 189 mosques are under licensing at a total cost of MAD 243 million.
Toufiq mentioned that 1442 mosques are still closed and that their renovation over the next 3 years would require a total cost of MAD 2 billion.
He added that the ministry will work on mobilizing MAD 1 billion from the investment budget allocated to it, and requested the allocation of an additional negotiable amount of MAD 1 billion.
Toufiq pointed out that despite the Ministry’s efforts, the monitoring process carried out by Walis and governors resulted in the closure of an average of 157 mosques annually.
“Most benefactors prefer to build new mosques instead of rebuilding collapsing ones,” Toufiq said. He also appealed to the benefactors to sensitize them to the need to renovate the collapsing mosques, saying that reconditioning is as rewarding as building.