Thursday, May 04, 2006

Snip: The pioneer group of morchidat, who finished a yearlong course in Islamic law, philosophy and the history of religions in early April, was trained to give basic religious instructions in mosques and provide support in prisons, hospitals and schools. Their salary is about $500 a month.

Applicants for the course must have a bachelor's degree and be under 45. Male applicants must know the Quran by heart, while female applicants should know at least half of it.

Although it is a first for Morocco — which like many other Muslim countries has shunned the rise of women to senior religious positions — Egypt and Iran have seen an increase in female scholars of Islam.

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