Rabat – Morocco’s Mohammedia League of Ulema, a body of Islamic clerics and scholars, will soon launch an initiative to train social media “influencers” to counter hate speech and growing radicalism, said the League’s head.
“Based on our own study, we approached students from Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane and selected 30 candidates from among them. They were given didactic materials to become positive influencers,” Ahmed Abbad, the general secretary of the League, told local outlet Le360 in an article published earlier this week.
The initiative will also extend to the Mohammed V University in Rabat at a later date.
Abbad believes that “an effective and proven influencer must imperatively be in possession of four fundamental qualities, namely clarity, attractiveness, creativity, knowledge in matters of culture and religion.”
Abbad explained that the initiative will provide future influencers with rich and varied Islamic training. The program will mobilize young people along a variety of axes, particularly religion.
“We want to act on how to thwart religious radicalism,” underlined Abbad.
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The head of the League also noted that the organization will also work with other African countries to help curb terrorism on the continent. Morocco’s experience and efforts to limit the spread of radical Islam could even benefit countries such as Nigeria, which have seen a renewed rise in terrorist activity.
Morocco made swift reforms in the country’s religious sector following terrorist attacks in Casablanca in 2003.
Morocco’s King Mohammed VI founded the Mohammedia League of Ulema through a royal decree in 2006 as part of the country’s broader counter-terrorism efforts.
Operating on the ideological front, the body is charged with training “a new generation of Islamic scholars and imams” to disseminate religious tolerance and counteract the spread of radical Islamism. The league has worked at the forefront of a variety of social issues beyond radicalization.