Over 85% of young Moroccan Muslims practise their religion

Rabat, Morocco - Over 85% of young Moroccan Muslim aged between 16 and 29 practise their Islam regardless of where they live or their social background. Ph: Archives.

The survey, which questioned a sample of 776 young people, said that 99% of young men and women fast in Ramadan, and 90% of them perform their prayers regularly or occasionally. Only 9% of them declared they had never prayed.

The survey stated that age is not a factor that contributes to the change in religious habits. However, the social background may be a reason why some young people don't perform their religious rituals. The survey said there are more ‘non-performers' among the rich and middle class: 16% of them belonging to rich families said they don't pray or have never prayed; 8% from Middle class and 9% from poor families.

Asked about marriage, 67% of them said they could marry a non-Moroccan, but 73% said they won't marry a non-Muslim. The survey also revealed that 49% of young men prefer their wives to wear the veil.

These results explain, according to the paper, that the majority of Moroccans feel themselves Muslims before being Moroccans. “And this gives us an idea about the identity of the adults of tomorrow,” stated the paper.

Regarding young people's view of al-Qaida organisation, 44% of them said al-Qaida is not a terrorist organisation, 31% said they had no idea whether al-Qaida is a terrorist organisation or not. The paper questioned whether these people are really ignorant about al-Qaida or whether it was a way of not stating an opinion.

Claiming that al-Qaida is not a terrorist organisation is mainly due, according to L'Economiste, to the US-led war in Iraq. For 76%, the US war in Iraq is unjustified and negative. The paper said there is a real condemnation by the Moroccan youth of the US foreign policy. “For them the al-Qaida represents an opposition to the US power. That could explain why many young Moroccan say al-Qaida is not a terrorist organisation,” explained the paper.

It also stated that those who asserted al-Qaida is not a terrorist organisation belong to poor families. Only 30% of rich people said it is not. “The poorer we are, the more we love al-Qaida,” said the daily.

The daily also questioned the young Moroccans about different other themes including sexuality, men-women relationships, superstitions, polygamy, friendship, money, marriage, etc.

The survey was conducted by Sunergia for L'Economiste in the autumn of 2005. It questioned a sample of 776 young people, of which 390 are men and 386 are women. The survey has taken into consideration the geographical location, age, sex, social background, and the zone (rural-urban).