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8567Moroccan Minister Wants Fajr Adhan Ban

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  • Zafar Khan
    Apr 5, 2008
      Moroccan Minister Wants Fajr Adhan Ban
      By Ahmad Hamouch, IOL Correspondent
      Sat. Apr. 5, 2008


      RABAT — A Moroccan minister has sparked uproar by
      calling for a ban of the Adhan for the Fajr (Dawn)
      Prayers for not disturbing tourists in the North
      African kingdom.
      "Why Minister of Social Development, Family and
      Solidarity Nouzha Skalli is disturbed with the Adhan,"
      headlined Attajdid newspaper on Saturday, April 5.

      "What harm could happen from the Adhan that lasts for

      "Has she ever heard a Moroccan complaining about the
      Adhan? Does she has evidence that tourists and cruises
      were disturbed by the Adhan?"

      Skalli, a member of the Progressive Socialist Party
      which has 17 seats in 325-member parliament and two
      cabinet ministers, told a cabinet meeting last week
      that the Adhan for the Fajr prayers should be banned
      to avoid harming tourism.

      She said the Adhan takes too much time in some areas,
      causing disturbance to tourists, asking Minister of
      Habous and Islamic Affairs Ahmed Toufiq to seek a
      religious justification to ban it.

      "The problem is that Mrs Skalli does not distinguish
      between the Adhan and the decades-long Moroccan
      tradition of chanting ahead of Fajr prayer," said
      Attajdid newspaper.

      There was no official comment on the minister's call.

      More Ire

      The minister also drew ire for accepting a Danish
      invitation to attend a women conference despite the
      Danish publication of cartoons lampooning Prophet
      Muhammad (peace and blessing be upon him).

      "The simplest thing the minister should have done is
      to reject the invitation in protest at the Danish
      government's position on the republishing of cartoons
      lampooning the Prophet," said Al-Massa daily.

      Danish newspapers reprinted on Wednesday, February 13,
      a drawing of a man described as Prophet Muhammad with
      a ticking bomb in his turban.

      The move came following the arrest of two Tunisians
      and a Dane of Moroccan origin for allegedly plotting
      to kill the cartoonist who drew the caricature.

      The move has reignited a controversy that first
      surfaced in 2005 after the mass-circulation
      Jyllands-Posten commissioned and printed 12 cartoons
      of the prophet, sending thousands of protesting
      Muslims into the streets across the world and strained
      ties between the Muslim West and Islam.

      The offensive cartoon had nudged scholars, priests and
      rabbis to ask he UN Security Council to issue a
      resolution criminalizing blasphemy.

      The UN human rights watchdog UNHRC adopted last year a
      resolution condemning "defamation" of religion and
      stressing that press freedom had its limits.

      Religious Tourism Thrives in Morocco