Closure of Saharawi mosque
Mosque of El Aiun / Western Sahara
Adala UK would like to express profound regret at the closure of the Saharawi ‘Kaisariat Salam’ mosque by the Moroccan authorities. The mosque is located in central El Aaiun and was attended by around 2,000 Saharawis for prayer. The mosque was also used as a meeting place to organise political demonstrations for the Saharawi people’s right to self-determination, which is presumably the reason behind the closure.
The Saharawi population of El Aiun has attended Kaisariat Salam mosque for years and its closure has cause great disappointment among them. An 84-year-old Saharawi citizen told Adala UK: ‘I have been coming to Kaisariat Salam mosque for a long time. The Imam is Saharawi and spoke Hasania, our local dialect, and I could understand him perfectly well. The mosque was very close to my house; now I have to walk very far so I only pray once or twice a day at the mosque at the most, whereas before I used to go five times a day. It’s a shame that they closed our mosque just because we are Saharawis.’
The mosque’s closure comes as a great surprise and disappointment from Morocco, a country with a long tradition of religious tolerance. It is a discriminatory and absurd act which violates Saharawi muslims’ right to religious freedom.
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