Home Institution

Emory University

Publication Date

Spring 2020

Program Name

Morocco: Multiculturalism and Human Rights


Following the 2003 Casablanca Bombings in Morocco there was an increased concern in protecting the physical and spiritual security of the nation. The state immediately responded by issuing a large crackdown on Salafists where many were arrested, imprisoned, and deprived of their rights. Due to the rise of extremist rhetoric in the mosques, particularly in rural and impoverished areas, the state also responded by closing any mosques they deemed to not be promoting moderate Islam and removed their imams. Out of this, a Preventing Violent Extremism Program was created that was composed of security and religious-based policies. The security policies entailed increased intelligence and arrests, and the religious policies a promotion of a state-sponsored Moroccan Islam, the control of all religious institutions and education, and the development of an Imam Training Program. This paper seeks to examine the efficacy of the Imam Training Program in preventing violent extremism through the analysis of newspaper articles, scholarly pieces, and first-hand interviews. The purpose of this paper is to show that the Imam Training Program, and the broader Preventing Violent Extremism Program, are more effective in strengthening the power of the king as Commander of the Faithful and in limiting religious pluralism than in preventing extremism. This study contributes to the discussion of preventing violent extremism strategies by suggesting marginalization and socioeconomic adversity as targets for action.


African Studies | Defense and Security Studies | Islamic Studies | Peace and Conflict Studies | Political Science | Politics and Social Change | Social Justice | Terrorism Studies


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