Universiteit Leiden

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Jan Hoogland

Much interest in study trip to Morocco

From 5 to 14 May, the recently reopened NIMAR is organising a study trip to a number of places in Morocco in collaboration with the Leiden Islam Academy. The theme for this trip is ‘Islam, gender and citizenship’. Registration closed down a few weeks ago, but there was a great deal of interest among students. This is all the more remarkable since the study trip was only announced via the network of research universities and universities of professional education.

Motivation

Fifteen students of various backgrounds were chosen by the selection committee from among many applicants to travel to Morocco. One of the students explains his motivation: ‘I would very much like to take part in this trip to get to know Morocco from a different perspective. I am curious about how Morocco effectively controls radicalisation. I have often heard it said that Morocco offers good police training programmes, but how do they deal with interactions with citizens and minorities with a different religious affiliation?’

Another student among those selected also emphasised the role of religion. ‘What I find striking after a trip to Morocco is the role of Islam. In Casablanca, the city I visited during my holidays, I saw no signs of religion on the streets. This is why I would like to make use of this opportunity to find out more about the various forms of Islam in Morocco.’

Contribution

Léon Buskens, Director of NIMAR, is also looking forward to the trip: ‘I look forward to adopting a comparative perspective, and together with these curious and enthusiastic students to ask myself ‘What can countries learn from each other in terms of their approach to citizenship, religion and radicalisation?’ It will allow us to expand our knowledge of various forms of Islam in Morocco, and to reflect critically on our own policy and the potential implications for the Netherlands. At NIMAR, we are glad to make a contribution to this debate.’

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