Morocco to have women Muslim preachers

May 5, 2006 at 8:16 AM

RABAT, Morocco, May 4 (UPI) -- The North African Islamic kingdom of Morocco will let its women preach the religion but they still won't be allowed to lead Friday prayers.

Fifty women have been appointed as state preachers for the first time in the government's drive to promote a more tolerant version of Islam, reports the BBC.

These Mourchidats can give basic religious instruction in mosques but not lead the Friday prayers, which will continue to be done by men.

As part of its crackdown on Islamic militants since the 2003 Casablanca suicide bombing, the Moroccan government has sought to improve human rights especially for women without upsetting conservative Muslims.

The women preachers will also be allowed to deal with those in prisons, schools and hospitals.

Two years ago, Morocco's King Mohammed VI introduced a new family code, giving women more rights in marriage.

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