Mauritania Assumes Control of Mosques

NOUAKCHOTT, Mauritania, JULY 4, 2003 ( The government of Mauritania took over the control and management of the country’s mosques, as part of the national campaign to combat fundamentalism.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry

The Extraordinary Council of Ministers made the decision Tuesday. It is the first time since the country’s independence in 1960 that the government met in an extraordinary manner to address a religious issue.

Hamoud Ould Hamed, the country’s Minister of Communication and government spokesman, told Radio Africa No. 1 that a law was adopted to regulate all religious activity in the country.

The law determines the functions of the imam of the mosque and his assistant. Mosques are defined as public places, and the country is to preserve a tolerant Islam.

In May, the government launched a crackdown on Mauritanian fundamentalists, resulting in numerous arrests. On June 10 a coup d’état attempt failed; observers linked that event to the government’s current campaign.

The vast majority of this northern African nation’s 2.8 million people are Muslim.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry


Support ZENIT

If you liked this article, support ZENIT now with a donation