8567Moroccan Minister Wants Fajr Adhan Ban
- Apr 5, 2008Moroccan 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
"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
There was no official comment on the minister's call.
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