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Cultural and spiritual process and shifts in Europe

Monday, 12 February 2018

"The cultural and spiritual process and changes in Europe’s social scene" is the topic of the second round table organized on Monday, February 12, 2018, by the Council of the Moroccan Community Abroad (CCME) at the Casablanca book Fair.

J5 TR 2 JAOUADMessrs. Said Aalla, president of the Grand Mosque of Strasbourg, Youssef Nouiouer, president of the association "building a culture of peace", Mohammed Khalid Rhazzali, deputy director of the inter-university center Culture, Law and Religions FIDR and Salah Echallaoui, president of the Executive of the Muslims of Belgium (EMB) moderated this round table moderated by Mr. Jaouad Achakouri, in the name of the CCME.

Mr. Achakouri explained that this meeting intents to determine the governance of Islam in European societies. "Islam is called to deal with the pluralism of the societies in which it is present today as a minority, considering Muslims had previously often lived as a majority community in  muslim countries," he said.

Islam in France

J5 TR 2 ALLAIn his introduction, Mr. Aalla gave statistics on the Muslim community in France: "the Muslim population is estimated at nearly 6 million, for nearly 2600 mosques, but 64% less 500 square meters of surface.

"Morocco leads the Islamic religion in the Hexagon with "6 million euros of annual financing, ahead of Saudi-Arabia, which finances the Islam in the country with 3 million euros per year, he said, adding that "Muslims have adapted to the European context ».

Mr. Aalla also said that "the Muslims in France, and in all Western countries, were confused by the terror acts that struck in Paris, Brussels or Barcelona" which raised questions about the identity of "those terrorists who had mostly killed people in the Muslim community".

These young Europeans who were not born in their country of origin and who "probably had never seen their country of origin and went in conflict zones generate questions for their countries of origin as well as for their host countries ».

He added in France "Strasbourg is an exception with communities who live in in perfect symbiosis » citing the Mosque of Strasbourg as  a prefect example of coexistence visited by hundreds of people every week

J5 TR 2 NouiouerMr. Nouiouir exposed the linguistic aspect defining the "Muslims of France who interact with the European environment ».

He said "France has changed and Islam has become integral of the French society," said the community actor adding that "the language names do not follow the evolution of this community."

According to Mr. Nouiouir, "we can not deny the improvement in the quality of places of worship but there are other problems, namely the training of imams who must have religious knowledge while remaining open to the culture and the language of the European countries in which they operate and be able to participate in the dialogue of civilizations ".

Mr. Nouiouir called "teachers to get involved in the management of the Muslim religion and invited women to get more involved".

Islam in Belgium

J5 TR 2 CHELAOUIMr. Echellaoui highlighted the characteristic of Islam in Belgium, "a state whose constitution stipulates that the state is neutral and not secular".

He said : "In 1974, Islam was recognized by the Belgian state and was able to benefit for this purpose from the same advantages as the other religions," said Mr. Echellaoui.

Belgium has 300 mosques which have been created in the form of associations but which are not all recognized. For those who have benefited from this recognition, the Belgian state can participate in the financing of their construction and the compensation of imams who are appointed according to the number of faithful. The Muslim religion is also taught at the Belgian schools, « provided by 1700 teachers of Islamic education."

To facilitate the representation of the Muslims of Belgium, the EMB has carried out several actions, the important ones of which are "the establishment of a code for the imams, a charter for the mosques and the examination of the records of the imams recognized before being appointed ".

Several trainings were also organized "to help imams preach counter-speech against extremism ".

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