What Language Do Moroccans Speak?

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What Language Do Moroccans Speak

Do Moroccans speak French or Spanish?

French is Morocco’s unofficial second language – France and Spain controlled Morocco in the early 1900s, and though Morocco gained independence in 1956, French remains widely spoken by Moroccans of all ages throughout much of the country. It functions as the language of government, diplomacy and business.

  1. Primary schools introduce French to students in their third year, increasing its use every year into secondary school and employing it as the language for teaching scientific subjects.
  2. Universities embrace French as their primary language of instruction.
  3. Though not as common in villages and remote areas, cities of varying sizes have French-speaking taxi drivers, restaurants with menus in French, and sometimes even French street signs.

Even if you only took a year or two of French in school, you may find it well worth your time to brush up on the basics just enough to master a few words and refer to a French phrasebook with ease. And speakers of other romance languages may find it easier to familiarize themselves with a little French, compared to picking up some Arabic.

Are Moroccans Arab or Spanish?

Moroccans are primarily of Arab and Berber origin as in other neighbouring countries in the Maghreb region. Arabs make up 67% of the population of Morocco, while Berbers make up 31% and Sahrawis make up 2%.

Is Morocco more French or Spanish?

Other Languages You May Encounter In Morocco – Tamazight (Berber), French, Spanish, and a lot of English. Moroccan Arabic, or Darija, is Morocco’s official language. It is spoken by most Moroccans and used as a second language, among many others. Many Moroccans will also speak Berber dialects: Tashelhit, Tarifit, and Central Atlas Tamazight. What Language Do Moroccans Speak

Is Morocco French or African?

Audio File: National anthem of Morocco Head Of Government: Prime Minister 2 : Aziz Akhannouch Capital: Rabat Population: (2023 est.) 36,459,000 Head Of State: King: Muhammad VI Form Of Government: constitutional monarchy with two legislative houses (House of Councillors ; House of Representatives ) Morocco, mountainous country of western North Africa that lies directly across the Strait of Gibraltar from Spain,

The traditional domain of indigenous peoples now collectively known as Berbers (self-name Imazighen ; singular, Amazigh), Morocco has been subject to extensive migration and has long been the location of urban communities that were originally settled by peoples from outside the region. Controlled by Carthage from an early date, the region was later the westernmost province of the Roman Empire.

Following the Arab conquest of the late 7th century ce, the broader area of North Africa came to be known as the Maghrib (Arabic: “the West”), and the majority of its people accepted Islam, Subsequent Moroccan kingdoms enjoyed political influence that extended beyond the coastal regions, and in the 11th century the first native Amazigh dynasty of North Africa, the Almoravids, gained control of an empire stretching from Andalusian (southern) Spain to parts of sub-Saharan Africa.

  1. Attempts by Europeans to establish permanent footholds in Morocco beginning in the late 15th century were largely repulsed, but the country later became the subject of Great Power politics in the 19th century.
  2. Morocco was made a French protectorate in 1912 but regained independence in 1956.
  3. Today it is the only monarchy in North Africa.

Although the country is rapidly modernizing and enjoys a rising standard of living, it retains much of its ancient architecture and even more of its traditional customs. Morocco’s largest city and major Atlantic Ocean port is Casablanca, an industrial and commercial centre.

The capital, Rabat, lies a short distance to the north on the Atlantic coast. Other port cities include Tangier, on the Strait of Gibraltar, Agadir, on the Atlantic, and Al-Hoceïma, on the Mediterranean Sea, The city of Fès is said to have some of the finest souks, or open-air markets, in all of North Africa.

Scenic and fertile, Morocco well merits the praise of a native son, the medieval traveler Ibn Baṭṭūṭah, who wrote that “it is the best of countries, for in it fruits are plentiful, and running water and nourishing food are never exhausted.”

Is Morocco Spanish or African?

Geography – Toubkal, the highest peak in Northern Africa, at 4,167 m (13,671 ft) A section of the Anti-Atlas near Tafraout An old Atlas cedar tree in the Atlas range Morocco has a coast by the Atlantic Ocean that reaches past the Strait of Gibraltar into the Mediterranean Sea, It is bordered by Spain to the north (a water border through the Strait and land borders with three small Spanish-controlled exclaves, Ceuta, Melilla, and Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera ), Algeria to the east, and Western Sahara to the south.

Since Morocco controls most of Western Sahara, its de facto southern boundary is with Mauritania, The internationally recognised borders of the country lie between latitudes 27° and 36°N, and longitudes 1° and 14°W, Adding Western Sahara, Morocco lies mostly between 21° and 36°N, and 1° and 17°W (the Ras Nouadhibou peninsula is slightly south of 21° and west of 17°).

The geography of Morocco spans from the Atlantic Ocean, to mountainous areas, to the Sahara desert. Morocco is a Northern African country, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, between Algeria and the annexed Western Sahara. It is one of only three nations (along with Spain and France ) to have both Atlantic and Mediterranean coastlines.

A large part of Morocco is mountainous. The Atlas Mountains are located mainly in the centre and the south of the country. The Rif Mountains are located in the north of the country. Both ranges are mainly inhabited by the Berber people, At 446,550 km 2 (172,414 sq mi), Morocco excluding Western Sahara is the fifty-seventh largest country in the world.

Algeria borders Morocco to the east and southeast, though the border between the two countries has been closed since 1994. Spanish territory in Northwest Africa neighbouring Morocco comprises five enclaves on the Mediterranean coast: Ceuta, Melilla, Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera, Peñón de Alhucemas, the Chafarinas islands, and the disputed islet Perejil,

  • Off the Atlantic coast the Canary Islands belong to Spain, whereas Madeira to the north is Portuguese,
  • To the north, Morocco is bordered by the Strait of Gibraltar, where international shipping has unimpeded transit passage between the Atlantic and Mediterranean.
  • The Rif mountains stretch over the region bordering the Mediterranean from the north-west to the north-east.

The Atlas Mountains run down the backbone of the country, from the northeast to the southwest. Most of the southeast portion of the country is in the Sahara Desert and as such is generally sparsely populated and unproductive economically. Most of the population lives to the north of these mountains, while to the south lies the Western Sahara, a former Spanish colony that was annexed by Morocco in 1975 (see Green March ).

  1. Morocco claims that the Western Sahara is part of its territory and refers to that as its Southern Provinces,
  2. Morocco’s capital city is Rabat ; its largest city is its main port, Casablanca,
  3. Other cities recording a population over 500,000 in the 2014 Moroccan census are Fes, Marrakesh, Meknes, Salé and Tangier,

Morocco is represented in the ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 geographical encoding standard by the symbol MA, This code was used as the basis for Morocco’s internet domain,,ma,

Do Moroccans speak English well?

Wrapping Up – While English is not the most widely spoken language in Morocco, its popularity is on the rise, particularly in urban areas and tourist destinations. With moderate proficiency levels, you may be able to get by speaking only English in certain parts of the country, but learning some basic phrases in Arabic or French will enhance your travel experience and demonstrate respect for the local culture.

What nationality is Morocco?

People: Nationality: Moroccan(s). Ethnic groups: Arab, Berber, mixed Arab-Berber. Languages: Arabic (official), several Berber dialects; French, usually the language of business, government, and diplomacy.

Is it difficult to learn Arabic?

The Big Question – Here comes the BIG question. Before you start learning the Arabic language, you would need to face an important question; Modern Standard Arabic or Local Dialect? The answer is that both are equally important because Modern Standard Arabic is not used as a native language in any Arabic-speaking country.

Also, it is not the dialect spoken by native speakers or locals of any area. Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) is spoken by the people from media, especially newscasters, and therefore is a strictly formal language. This is because they want everyone, those who know Arabic well and those with merely basic Arabic knowledge, to learn about current affairs.

One doesn’t need to know a lot about MSA until and unless they want to have a job in an Arab country. It is mainly used as a formal language and used in writing only. It is also called written Arabic. Moreover, it is more challenging to learn than many other dialects because of special complexities like cases, etc.

What is the religion of Morocco?

Morocco – United States Department of State An official website of the United States Government Here’s how you know Official websites use,gov A,gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States. Secure,gov websites use HTTPS A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the,gov website.

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  • According to the constitution, Islam is the religion of the state, and the state guarantees freedom of thought, expression, and assembly.
  • The constitution also says the state guarantees to everyone the freedom to “practice his religious affairs.” The constitution states the King holds the title “Commander of the Faithful” and that he is the protector of Islam and the guarantor of the freedom to practice religious affairs in the country.

The constitution prohibits political parties founded on religion as well as political parties, parliamentarians, and constitutional amendments that denigrate or infringe on Islam. The law penalizes the use of enticements to convert a Muslim to another religion and prohibits criticism of Islam.

It criminalizes acts and speech “undermining the Islamic religion.” Although the law allows registration of religious groups as associations, some minority religious groups reported the government delayed or rejected their registration requests. The Ministry of Endowments and Islamic Affairs (MEIA) continued to guide and monitor the content of sermons in mosques, Islamic religious education, and the dissemination of Islamic religious material by broadcast media, actions it said were intended to combat violent extremism.

The government restricted the distribution of non-Islamic religious materials, as well as Islamic materials it deemed inconsistent with the Maliki-Ashari school of Sunni Islam. According to the government, 79 persons were criminally charged or convicted for engaging in prohibited acts during the month of Ramadan.

On December 14, King Mohammed VI introduced an initiative to renovate Jewish heritage sites in the country, to include hundreds of synagogues, cemeteries, and other sites in several cities. An organization of Moroccan Christians launched a campaign to revise laws restricting the ability to conduct and attend services in official churches and the right to ecclesiastical or civil marriage.

The group also called on the government to allow Moroccan Christians to be buried in Christian cemeteries and to hold Christian names. The Ministry of National Education, Vocational Training, Higher Education, and Scientific Research announced a change to the public school curriculum to include Jewish heritage and history in both Arabic and French.

  1. According to a 2020-2021 report by the nongovernmental organization (NGO) Moroccan Association of Human Rights (AMDH), there was continued societal harassment of Shia individuals and Shia Islam in the press and in Friday sermons.
  2. As a result, many worshipped in private and avoided disclosing their religious affiliation.
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Representatives of minority religious groups said fear of societal harassment, including ostracism by converts’ families, social ridicule, employment discrimination, and potential violence against them by “extremists,” were the main reasons leading them to practice their faiths discreetly.

  1. Jewish citizens continued to state that they lived and attended services at synagogues in safety.
  2. They said that they were able to visit religious sites regularly and to hold annual commemorations.
  3. The Charge d’Affaires and other U.S.
  4. Embassy and consulate general officials met with government officials, including from the Ministries of Interior (MOI) and MEIA, to discuss religious freedom and tolerance, including the rights of minority communities.

In regular meetings and discussions with members of religious minority and majority communities throughout the country, embassy and consulate general representatives highlighted the importance of the protection of religious minorities and interfaith dialogue.

The Charge d’Affaires and Consul General regularly met with members of the Jewish community in Casablanca, as well as with Jewish leaders in other cities, including Marrakesh and Tangier. Together, they met with more than 50 Jewish government leaders, and others to highlight the country’s religious diversity.

Consulate general officials in Casablanca also engaged with Protestant, Catholic, and Anglican Church leadership. As part of this outreach, the Consul General visited local churches and heard from committee members and church leaders about the growing Christian population in the country, comprised primarily of recently arrived sub-Saharan African migrants.

  1. The U.S. government estimates the total population at 36.4 million (midyear 2021).
  2. More than 99 percent of the population is Sunni Muslim, and less than 0.1 percent of the population is Shia Muslim.
  3. Groups together constituting less than 1 percent of the population include Christians, Jews, and Baha’is.

According to Jewish community leaders, there are an estimated 2,000 to 3,500 Jews, approximately 2,500 of whom reside in Casablanca. Some Christian community leaders estimate there are between 2,000 and 6,000 Christian citizens distributed throughout the country; however, AMDH estimates there are 25,000 Christian citizens.

The number of Moroccan Christians reached approximately 31,500, according to reports from a number of print and electronic media, although due to the absence of statistical data from official and research centers and the fact that some Christians practice in private, it is difficult to reach an accurate estimate.

Foreign-resident Christian leaders estimate the Christian population includes at least 30,000 Roman Catholics and approximately 10,000 Protestants, many of whom are recent migrants from sub-Saharan Africa or lifelong residents whose families have resided and worked in the country for generations but do not hold citizenship.

  1. There are small, foreign-resident Anglican communities in Rabat, Casablanca, and Tangier.
  2. There are an estimated 3,000 foreign residents who identify as Russian and Greek Orthodox, including a small Russian Orthodox community in Rabat and a small Greek Orthodox community in Casablanca.
  3. Most foreign-resident Christians live in the Casablanca, Marrakesh, Tangier, and Rabat urban areas, but small numbers are present throughout the country, including many who are migrants from sub-Saharan Africa.

Shia Muslim leaders estimate there are several thousand Shia citizens, with the largest proportion in the north. In addition, there are an estimated 1,000 to 2,000 foreign-resident Shia from Lebanon, Syria, Tunisia, and Iraq. Leaders of the Ahmadi Muslim community estimate their numbers at 750.

Leaders of the Baha’i Faith community estimate there are 350-400 members throughout the country. According to the constitution, the country is a “sovereign Muslim state,” and Islam is the religion of the state. The constitution guarantees freedom of thought, expression, and assembly, and the state guarantees every individual the freedom to “practice his religious affairs.” The constitution states the King holds the title “Commander of the Faithful,” and that he is the protector of Islam and the guarantor of the freedom to practice religious affairs in the country.

The constitution prohibits the enactment of laws or constitutional amendments infringing upon its provisions relating to Islam, and it also recognizes the Jewish community as an integral component of society. According to the constitution, political parties may not be founded on religion and may not denigrate or infringe on Islam.

A political party may not legally challenge Islam as the state religion. Religions other than Islam and Judaism are not recognized by the constitution or laws. The constitution and the law governing media prohibit any individual, including members of parliament, who are normally immune from arrest, from criticizing Islam on public platforms, such as print or online media, or in public speeches.

Such expressions are punishable by imprisonment of up to two years, a fine of up to 200,000 dirhams ($21,600), or both. Imprisonment may be increased to five years or fine of 50,000 to 500,000 dirhams ($5,400-$53,900), or both, if the acts “are committed either by speech, scream, or threat made in public places or public meetings, or by poster publicly exhibited by sale, distribution, or any other means used for publicity included by online form, paper, and audiovisual form.” The law penalizes anyone who “employs enticements to undermine the faith” or convert a Muslim to another faith by exploiting a weakness or need for assistance, or through the use of educational, health, or other institutions and provides punishments of six months to three years’ imprisonment and a fine of 200 to 500 dirhams ($22-$54).

The same penalties apply to anyone who intentionally interferes with religious rites or celebrations where this causes disturbances or affects the dignity of such religious acts. It also provides the right to a court trial for anyone accused of such an offense. Voluntary conversion is not a crime under the law.

The law permits the government to expel summarily any noncitizen resident it determines to be “a threat to public order,” and the government has used this clause to expel foreigners suspected of proselytizing. By law, impeding or preventing one or more persons from worshipping or from attending worship services of any religion is punishable by six months to three years’ imprisonment and a fine of 200 to 500 dirhams ($22-$54).

  • The penal code states any person known to be Muslim who breaks the fast in public during the month of Ramadan without an exception granted by religious authorities is liable to punishment of six months in prison and a fine of 200 to 500 dirhams ($22-$54).
  • Owners have discretion to keep their restaurants open during Ramadan.

The High Authority for Audiovisual Communications established by the constitution requires all eight public television stations to dedicate 5 percent of their airtime to Islamic religious content and to broadcast the Islamic call to prayer five times daily.

Sunni Muslims and Jews are the only religious groups recognized in the constitution as native to the country. A separate set of laws and special courts govern personal status matters for Jews, including functions such as marriage, inheritance, and other personal status matters. Rabbinical authorities, who are also court officials, administer Jewish family courts.

Muslim judges trained in the country’s Maliki-Ashari Sunni interpretation of sharia administer the courts for personal status matters for all other religious groups. According to the law, a Muslim man may marry a Christian or Jewish woman; a Muslim woman may not marry a man of another religion unless he converts to Islam.

Non-Muslims must formally convert to Islam and be permanent residents before they can become guardians of abandoned or orphaned children. Guardianship entails the caretaking of a child, which may last until the child reaches 18, but it does not allow changing the child’s name or inheritance rights, and requires maintaining the child’s birth religion, according to orphanage directors.

Many foreign-resident Christian churches (churches run by and attended by foreign residents only) are registered as associations. The Roman Catholic, Russian Orthodox, Greek Orthodox, Protestant, and Anglican Churches maintain different forms of official status.

  • The Russian Orthodox and Anglican Churches are registered as branches of international associations through the embassies of Russia and the United Kingdom, respectively.
  • The Protestant and Catholic Churches, whose existence as foreign-resident churches predates the country’s independence in 1956, as well as the Russian and Greek Orthodox Churches, maintain a special status recognized by the government, which allows them to preserve houses of worship and assign foreign clergy.

Legal provisions outlined in the general tax code provide tax benefits, land and building grants, subsidies, and customs exemptions for imports necessary for the religious activities of recognized religious groups (Sunni Muslims and Jews) and religious groups registered as associations (some foreign-resident Christian churches).

The law does not require religious groups to register to worship privately, but a nonrecognized religious group must register as an association to conduct business on behalf of the group (e.g., open and hold bank accounts, rent property, acquire land and building grants, and have access to customs exemptions for imports necessary for religious activities) or to hold public gatherings.

Associations must register with local MOI officials in the jurisdiction of the association’s headquarters. An individual representative of a religious group neither recognized nor registered as an association may be held liable for any of the group’s public gatherings, transactions, bank accounts, property rentals, and/or petitions to the government.

The registration application must contain the name and purpose of the association; the name, nationality, age, profession, and residential address of each founder; and the address of the association’s headquarters. The constitution guarantees civil society associations and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) the right to organize themselves and exercise their activities freely within the scope of the constitution.

The law on associations prohibits organizations that pursue activities the government regards as “illegal, contrary to good morals, or aimed at undermining the Islamic religion, the integrity of the national territory, or the monarchical regime, or which call for discrimination.” The law does not allow Moroccan Christians to be buried in Christian cemeteries or to hold Christian names.

By law, all publicly funded educational institutions must teach Sunni Islam in accordance with the teachings and traditions of the Maliki-Ashari school of Islamic jurisprudence. Foreign-run and privately funded schools have the choice of including or omitting religious instruction within the school’s curriculum.

Private Jewish schools may teach Judaism. According to the constitution, only the High Council of Ulema, a group headed and appointed by the King with representatives from all regions of the country, is authorized to issue fatwas, which become legally binding only through the King’s endorsement in a royal decree and a subsequent confirmation by parliamentary legislation.

  1. Such fatwas are considered binding only on Maliki-Ashari Sunni Muslims.
  2. If the King or parliament declines to ratify a decision of the council, the decision remains nonbinding and unenforced.
  3. The country is a party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
  4. On June 17, security services arrested an Italian national of Moroccan origin, Ikram Nazhi, upon her arrival in Morocco from Italy, for contempt and blasphemy against Islam via her use of social media networks in 2019 while visiting Morocco.
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On June 28, the First Instance Court of Marrakesh sentenced Nazhi to three years in prison and a fine of 50,000 dirhams ($5,400) for insulting Islam. Nazhi appealed on June 30 and the court reduced her sentence to two months in prison without a monetary fine.

Following the sentencing, AMDH-Marrakesh released a statement calling on the government to stop “depriving” citizens of fundamental freedoms enshrined in the constitution. Nazhi was released from prison on August 23. In May, a court in Casablanca fined movie actor Rafik Boubker 5,000 dirhams ($540) as a condition for provisional release from custody pending a hearing on his case.

Authorities arrested him in May 2020 and charged him with making blasphemous remarks against Islam and attacking the sacredness of worship in an alleged posting of a video of himself on social media. No date had been set for the hearing as of year’s end.

  • Following a process that lasted more than a year, authorities renewed the registration of the Rabat International Church in December.
  • By year’s end, the new pastor of the church, a non-Moroccan who had arrived in February, had not received his residency permit and permission to manage the church’s activities.

Authorities continued to deny Moroccan citizen Christian groups the right to Christian or civil marriage and funeral services, and the right to establish churches. The government denied official recognition to NGOs that it considered to be advocating against Islam as the state religion.

The government continued to allow the operation of 44 registered, foreign-resident Christian churches. Some church leaders reported that Christian citizens generally did not attend those services out of fear of incurring governmental harassment, including concern that security authorities might open a file on them.

However, some foreign-born clergy and Christian citizen leaders stated that some citizens who were well known to be Christian encountered no harassment from government security officers when they attended the services of registered foreign-resident Christian churches.

  1. Foreign residents and visitors attended religious services without restriction at those churches.
  2. The Justice and Charity Organization (JCO), a Sunni Islamist social movement that rejects the King’s spiritual authority, remained banned but still active.
  3. The government continued to monitor the JCO’s activities, and it remained the largest social movement of its kind in the country, despite being unregistered.

The JCO continued to release press statements, hold conferences, manage internet sites, and participate in political demonstrations. According to media in the country, there were instances in which the government prevented the organization from meeting and restricted public distribution of JCO’s published materials.

In December, during a visit from the Israeli Defense Minister to the country, JCO participated in a protest that local police dispersed. Community leaders from various Christian groups said authorities continued to make phone or house calls to monitor the activities of Christians. According to various sources, authorities continued to say the purpose of such monitoring was to protect minority religious communities.

Authorities informed religious communities they would be monitoring compliance with COVID-19 restrictions at religious venues, as they did with the general population. A number of religious groups reported occasionally informing authorities of planned large gatherings, for which authorities at times assisted with security measures.

  • According to religious leaders and legal scholars, the government’s refusal to allow Shia Muslim groups to register as associations continued to prevent these groups from gathering legally for public religious observations.
  • There are no known Shia mosques in the country.
  • According to Shia community members, they were able to pray in Sunni mosques, but they risked criticism from other worshippers for their religious practices.

Shia representatives reported they did not attempt to register during the year because they feared security forces would harass them, as had been the case in previous years. The Moroccan Association of Religious Liberties, an organization that advocates for rights of religious minorities, applied for registration in 2019 and remained unregistered at year’s end.

A foreign, non-Muslim religious association was still waiting for its organization’s registration to be renewed, limiting its ability to hold meetings and raise funds. The U.S.-based NGO Open Doors stated in its annual 2021 World Watch List that the penal code, which criminalizes “shaking the faith” of a Muslim, put many Christians who talked to others about their faith at risk of criminal prosecution and arrest.

The NGO also stated that while the penal code provision “only punish proselytization, converts to Christianity be punished in other ways, such as loss of inheritance rights and custody of their children.” Christian leaders continued to say there were no reports of authorities pressuring converts to renounce their faith by informing friends, relatives, and employers of the individual’s conversions.

According to the government, 79 persons were criminally charged or convicted for performing prohibited acts during the month of Ramadan. A 2017 ban on the import, production, and sale of the burqa remained in effect. The MOI cited security concerns as justification for the ban. The ban did not prevent individuals from wearing burqas or making them at home for individual use.

Authorities prohibited news anchors on national television and police and army personnel in uniform from wearing a hijab or burqa. The MEIA’s Mohamed VI Institute remained the principal government institution responsible for shaping the country’s religious life and promoting its interpretation of Sunni Islam.

  • It employed 2100 morchidines (male Muslim spiritual guides) and 901 morchidates (female Muslim spiritual guides) in mosques or religious institutions throughout the country.
  • The morchidates taught religious subjects and provided counsel on a variety of matters, including women’s legal rights and family planning.

The institute continued to provide government-required one-year training for imams and trained an average of 150 morchidines and 100 morchidates per year. It also continued to train foreign imams, predominantly from sub-Saharan Africa. The training sessions fulfilled the requirement for religious leaders to acquire a certificate issued by the High Council of Ulema to operate in the country.

The High Council of Ulema also continued to host continuing training sessions and capacity-building exercises for the religious leaders. The government required religious leaders who worked in the country to abide by the guidelines outlined in the MEIA-issued Guide of the Imam, Khatib, and the Preacher,

The MEIA continued to guide and monitor the content of sermons in mosques, Islamic religious education, and the dissemination of Islamic religious material by broadcast media, actions it said were intended to combat violent extremism. The MEIA continued to monitor Quranic schools to prevent what the ministry considered inflammatory or extremist rhetoric and to ensure teaching followed approved doctrine.

The government continued to restrict the distribution of non-Islamic religious materials, as well as some Islamic materials it deemed inconsistent with the Maliki-Ashari school of Sunni Islam.Some Amazigh (Berber)-rights activists reported intolerance and suppression of traditional Amazigh customs in rural Amazigh villages by government-appointed Muslim spiritual guides.The government’s policy remained prohibiting the sale of all books, videotapes, and DVDs it considered religiously extremist.

The government permitted the display and sale of Bibles in French, English, and Spanish. A limited number of Arabic translations of the Bible were available for sale in a few bookshops for use in higher education courses. The government continued drafting and implementing an educational charter mandating traditional education be based on “values” and the “respect for religious and legal studies.” The Ministry of Education continued an ongoing review of the religion curriculum used in primary and secondary education and continued to make reforms based on universal values of liberty, empathy, solidarity, and honesty.

Since the review began in 2016, 29 textbooks had been rewritten, and additional modifications to textbooks continued during the year. Jewish and Christian citizens continued to state that elementary and high school curricula did not include mention of the historical legacy and current presence of their groups in the country.

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The government continued to fund the study of Jewish culture and heritage at state-run universities. In October, the Ministry of National Education, Vocational Training, Higher Education, and Scientific Research announced a change to the public school curriculum to include Jewish heritage and history in both Arabic and French, starting in the fourth year of primary school.

  1. The government continued to disseminate information about Islam and Judaism over dedicated state-funded television and radio channels.
  2. Television channel Assadissa (Six) programming was strictly religious, consisting primarily of Quran and hadith (sayings or customs of Muhammad and his companions) readings and exegesis, highlighting the government’s interpretation of Islam.

On October 9, the group Coordination of Moroccan Christians launched a campaign advocating for revision of existing laws restricting the ability to conduct and attend services in official churches and the right to ecclesiastical or civil marriage. The group also called on the government to allow Moroccan Christians to be buried in Christian cemeteries and to hold Christian names.

According to observers, the government permitted social and charitable activities consistent with Sunni Islam. For example, the Unity and Reform Movement, the country’s largest registered Islamic social organization, continued its close relationship with the Party of Justice and Development, the largest party in the governing coalition, and continued to operate without restriction, according to media reports.

From April to September, the Baha’i community invited followers of its Facebook page from different faiths to pray for relief from COVID-19 and organized several online conferences. The monarchy continued to support the restoration of synagogues and Jewish cemeteries throughout the country, efforts it stated were necessary to preserve the country’s religious and cultural heritage and to serve as a symbol of tolerance.

  • On December 14, King Mohammed VI introduced an initiative to renovate Jewish heritage sites in the country, including hundreds of synagogues, cemeteries, and other sites in several cities.
  • The Israeli Israel Hayom publication said the Jewish cemetery in Fes, which includes 13,000 graves, was included in the initiative, and that the King had decided to reinstate the original names of some of the country’s Jewish neighborhoods.

The Prison Administration authorized religious observances and services provided by religious leaders for all prisoners, including religious minorities. On August 12, Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid visited the Beth-El Synagogue in Casablanca. Secretary General Serge Berdugo of the Council of Jewish Communities in Morocco presented Lapid with a book documenting the restoration of Jewish cemeteries and holy places in the country.

  • A Moroccan delegation, including government officials, also met Lapid at the synagogue where Lapid said a prayer.
  • MOI and MEIA authorization continued to be a requirement for the renovation or construction of churches, synagogues, and mosques.
  • Representatives of minority religious groups said fear of societal harassment, including ostracism by converts’ families, social ridicule, employment discrimination, and potential violence against them by “extremists,” were the main reasons leading them to practice their faiths privately and away from the public eye.

According to the 2018-2019 AMDH report, societal harassment of Shia for manifesting Shia beliefs continued to occur in the press and at Friday sermons. Shia sources reported they observed Ashura in private to avoid societal harassment. Shia Muslims said that many avoided disclosing their religious affiliation in areas where their numbers were smaller.

  1. There were reports from media, activists, community leaders, and Christian converts that Christian citizens faced social pressure from non-Christian family and friends to convert to Islam or renounce their Christian faith.
  2. Some young Christian converts who still lived with their Muslim families reportedly did not reveal their faith because they believed they might be expelled from their homes unless they renounced Christianity.
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Jewish citizens continued to state that they lived and attended services at synagogues in safety. They said they were able to visit religious sites regularly and to hold annual commemorations. On May 27, the Wali (Governor) of Tangier, Mohammed M’hidia, held a working session with Serge Berdugo, Secretary General of the Council of Jewish Communities in Morocco, and a delegation from one of the Council’s regional chapters, the Jewish Community Committee of Tangier, composed of Aron Abikzer, Vice President; and Sonia Zagury, in charge of Cultural Heritage.

Participants reviewed projects launched by the Jewish Community of Tangier as part of a national initiative, the Rehabilitation of Jewish Heritage, approved by King Mohammed VI. In June, the Assayage Synagogue in Tangier announced plans for creation of the Jewish Museum of Tangier, to be located in the synagogue.

Establishment of the museum is in accordance with royal directives requiring preservation and safeguarding of the country’s Jewish heritage and includes government funding. The Eias Hazan Synagogue remained open for worship and in active use as a national heritage site after being designated as such in 2020.

  • Members of the Baha’i Faith said they were open about their faith with family, friends, and neighbors.
  • Muslim citizen children and youths continued to study at private Christian and Jewish elementary and high schools, reportedly because these schools maintained a reputation for offering a high quality education.

According to school administrators, Muslim students constituted a significant portion of the students enrolled at Jewish schools in Casablanca. The UAE research and consulting firm PSB took a June poll of youth between the ages of 17 and 24 in 17 Arab states and reported 39 percent of Moroccan respondents said that their religion was the most important factor in their personal identity, which was higher than the regionwide result of 34 percent.

Other choices offered by the poll as possible responses included family/tribe, nationality, Arabic heritage, political beliefs, language, and gender. The Charge d’Affaires and other embassy and consulate general officials met with government officials, including from MOI and MEIA, to promote religious freedom and tolerance, including the rights of minority communities.

In February, the U.S. government entered into a cooperative agreement with Mimouna Association, a Moroccan-based NGO to combat antisemitism, including anti-Zionism, the delegitimization of Israel, and other forms of intolerance and hatred, including “Islamophobia.” In regular meetings and discussions with members of religious minority and majority communities throughout the country, embassy and consulate general representatives highlighted the importance of protection of religious minorities and interfaith dialogue.

The Charge d’Affaires and Consul General regularly met with members of the Jewish community in Casablanca as well as with Jewish leaders in other cities, including Marrakesh and Tangier. Together, they met with more than 50 Jewish government leaders, and other guests to highlight the country’s religious diversity.

Consulate general officials in Casablanca also engaged with Protestant, Catholic, and Anglican Church leadership. As part of this outreach, the Consul General visited local churches and heard from committee members and church leaders about the growing Christian population in the country that was comprised primarily of recently arrived sub-Saharan African migrants.

  1. In December, the Consul General met with Christian leaders in Casablanca and highlighted the importance of religious freedom.
  2. The discussion included the importance of supporting and encouraging religious tolerance and diversity.
  3. On November 8, the Consul General met with members of the Jewish community to highlight the longstanding bond between the United States and the community.

The discussion included concerns and challenges facing the Jewish community and the need for further collaboration to promote inclusion of all religions in the country. On November 3, the Consul General participated in a conference on religious coexistence hosted by the Salam Contemporary Art Forum and provided opening remarks.

On October 5, the Charge d’Affaires joined Andrew Azoulay, Advisor to King Mohammed VI, at Bayt Dakira, in Essaouira, as part of the launch of a three-year, U.S. government program supporting the activities of religious and ethnic minorities. The Charge d’Affaires also toured the city’s Christian, Muslim, and Jewish cemeteries and visited a U.S.-government-funded Hebrew-language and Jewish cultural heritage class for Essaouira tour guides that aims, in part, to preserve Essaouira’s Jewish heritage.

On September 18, the Charge d’Affaires attended a rededication ceremony of St. John’s Anglican Church, the first Protestant church established in Casablanca, built in 1906. In discussion with leaders of the Christian community, the Charge d’Affaires emphasized the need for religious diversity and protection for all religious minorities.

  • In March, the Consul General met with members of the Moroccan Jewish Community in Casablanca.
  • The Consul General discussed challenges impacting the Jewish community and the need to collaborate further to protect and promote all religious minority groups.
  • The embassy implemented a multi-year $3 million program to promote religious tolerance and community efforts that preserve cultural heritage sites of ethnic and religious minorities in the country.

: Morocco – United States Department of State

Why are Morocco and Spain so different?

Comparing Morocco and Spain What Language Do Moroccans Speak Submitted by Taylor Lawrence on the 2016 winter session program in Morocco sponsored by the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures Our last weekend here in Morocco was, oddly enough, not spent in Morocco! We took a 3 day trip to Granada to check out the Arab influence on the culture and architecture in Spain.

After a month spent in Morocco, it was definitely a culture shock going to a European town; but also it’s so fascinating that we could just hop on a ferry and be in another country/continent in less than an hour! Despite their proximity, Morocco and Spain are so incredibly different in language, landscape and culture.

Despite Arabs ruling in Spain for eight centuries, the Arab influence was not as prominent in Spain as the Spanish influence is in Morocco, which was unexpected. I was intrigued to learn that many Spanish words come from Arabic! And since there are so many Spanish-speakers in Morocco, I expected at least some people to speak Arabic in Spain.

No such luck. Therefore, it was a challenge for me to communicate since I don’t really know Spanish! It made me a little homesick for Morocco and Arabic-speakers. However, the language barrier didn’t keep us from exploring the city and shopping and eating some very amazing food– I definitely missed pork a lot more than I thought! It was interesting to compare cuisines and even simple snack foods between Spain and Morocco because there is so much variation, again, despite how close they are distance-wise.

Ham flavored Pringles definitely would not hit it off in Morocco and cheese flavored Pringles wouldn’t fly in Spain. Even the architecture was so different. Granada was very organized and luxurious whereas most Moroccan cities have no specific layout in most parts and can be a little bit more rundown, but it gives them character! The cathedral in Granada was so incredibly ornate which is a big leap from the simplicity of mosques in Morocco.

  • But that’s a similarity between these two cultures: piety.
  • On Fridays in Morocco, shops are closed or close early for the Muslim holy day and in Spain pretty much all the shops were closed on Sunday for the Christian holy day.
  • After a month in a Muslim country, it didn’t even occur to me that shops in Granada would be closed on Sunday, so our early morning shopping before departing from Spain was thwarted pretty quickly.

But another interesting similarity between the two cultures is their love of the outdoors. All the streets are lined with people hanging out and eating at restaurants or chatting over coffee, even in the freezing cold (most restaurants have heaters on outdoor patios where in the US that isn’t even a thought!) It was very interesting to switch cultures for a weekend, and most people felt very at home in Granada, and Spain definitely challenged my expectations.

How do you say kiss in Morocco?

The word for ‘kiss’ in Arabic is ‘صلع’ (sal’a). In Morocco, we call it Bosaبُوسَة or we say it in French.

What are the three languages spoken in Morocco?

What languages are spoken in Morocco? Morocco is characterized as being one of the most diverse environments in the greater Arabic speaking regions. The main languages spoken are Modern Standard Arabic, Darija (Moroccan Arabic), the many different Berber languages, French, Spanish and English.

The land of Morocco has been ruled and occupied by different African, Arab, and European powers; due to this, several languages are spoken in the country. What are the official languages? The two official languages spoken are Modern Standard Arabic and Standard Moroccan Berber. Where are certain languages spoken? Modern Standard Arabic is taught in schools, and is used the most in newspapers, books, mosques and administrative or government offices.

However, Darija (Moroccan Arabic) is the language spoken more in the streets and at home. It’s spoken the most in Casablanca, Rabat and Fez. There are three main Berber languages; Riffian, Tashelhit and Central Morocco Tamazight. Riffian is spoken in the Rif northern part of the country, where as Tashelhit is spoken in Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz and Tadla-Azilal regions, as well as the whole of the Souss-Massa-Drâa region.

Central Morocco Tamazight is used in the regions of High and Middle Atlas. There are many other smaller Berber languages spoken throughout Morocco. Spanish is spoken in Morocco mostly around the northern regions, such as Tetouan and Tangier. French on the other hand, is spoken mainly on the western side of the country, including cities like Casablanca and Rabat.

Major Moroccan cities will usually speak English, such as Marrakesh, Fez, Casablanca, Tangier and more. Want to visit Morocco soon? If you’re in your 30s and 40s, join our 8-day group tour to Morocco! See the red city of Marrakesh, the desert fort of Ait-Ben-Haddou and more together with others your age! Gems of Morocco Explore the Sahara and beyond Travel with others in their 30s and 40s Cooking class with locals Camel riding in the Sahara Have tea with a Berber family

Why do Morocco speak French?

French is not an official language in any country in the Maghreb or the Middle East. In most of these countries, Arabic is the official language (as well as Berber in some of the North African states). Nonetheless, French is still widely spoken in Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and Lebanon because of France’s colonial legacy.

It is considered an educational, diplomatic, and commercial language. Alongside French, English is a popular second language alternative in Lebanon. A lot of the literature from North Africa and the Middle East is written in Arabic, although Francophone literature is still rich and plentiful. Authors like Hélène Cixous and Albert Camus are well-known among the general public.

They were born in Algeria during colonial rule, but they are usually considered French because of their close connection to French colonists. There are also numerous talented writers who are native to the Maghreb and Lebanon. For example, Amin Maalouf is a well-known author from Beirut, Lebanon.

  1. He is distinguished for his historical fiction novels like Le Rocher de Tanios, a winner of the Prix Goncourt.
  2. Tahar Ben Jelloun, from Morocco, is another notable novelist and nominee for the Nobel Prize for Literature.
  3. Some significant themes of the works below are female empowerment, colonization, Jewish identity, and romance.

The following titles link to fuller bibliographic information in the Library of Congress Online Catalog, Links to additional digitized versions are included when available.