Tag Archives: imam

No Wine For Masses Proclaim Imams

The Islamic world has long been noted for its cultivation of vineyards which product some of the best wine in the area. Today, wines from Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco and other Muslim nations are sold and produce extensive revenue for governments as well as jobs. However, Morocco’s conservative Islamists are fighting hard to curb the sale of wines and impose stringent laws against the use of alcohol by Muslims. Of course, wines are sold in just about every Moroccan supermarket although in sections set off from other products. As one supermarket manager commented; “Morocco is a free country, and everyone can buy what they want.” Many Moroccans drink wine with their meals although efforts are made to disguise what is being drunk.

The Phoenicians planted vineyards 2,500 years ago in Morocco and the Romans also brought their wines to the area. However, Mohammed Raouandi of Morocco’s High Council of Ulemas, “If a Muslim drinks, the government can punish him, and afterwards he will be punished by God.” Gee, Jews who predate the Muslims by thousands of years were drinking wine because God wanted them to drink, but, I guess God changed his mind a few years ago. How did the Imams get the word concerning God’s new views?

Can Religion Defeat Religious Ignorance?

Turkey is currently embroiled in a religious debate concerning the extent to which religion can be allowed in its education system. The overwhelming majority of Turks are Muslim, but about 40% cling to strong secular tenets which forbid religion in school. Sevki Aydin, of the Religious Affairs Dirtectorate, argued a major problem is lack of well educated religious leaders in his nation. He argues those who founded the modern Republic wanted to use religion in order to create republican minded citizens who accepted the concept of separation of church and state. He believes the inability to find enough theology graduates forces the Directorate to employ “imam-hatip graduates” who lack sophisticated knowledge of religion.

The Religious Affairs Directorate is currently engaged in a project to re-interpret the Koran in light of modern conditions which seeks to connect Mohammed with contemporary situations rather than relying on what some imam said four hundred years ago.

Perhaps, Sevki Aydin has identified a serious problem in the Muslim world. Men like Osama bin Laden who are not Koran scholars insist their interpretations are accurate. If more highly trained imams were able to present their views, Muslims might have more accurate information upon which to make decisions.