SJOERD VAN KONINGSVEI.D
In Morocco the space available for the scientific study of religion as a living force in Moroccan society is seriously limited by the public status of Islam as the official religion of the Stale and as the main legitimizing force of its major political institutions. Theoretically, the absolute power of the king encompasses the complete religious domain. In his capacity as 'Commander of the Faithful' (Amîr al-Muɔminîn), the king and the political institutions dependent on his authority control the official religious discourse of Morocco. Among his other functions he is the president of the High Council of Religious Scholars which, together with the network of regional Councils of Religious Scholars, watches over the purity of Morocco's religious doctrine throughout the whole kingdom. The official doctrine of the kingdom of Morocco is Sunnite Islam, according to the legal tradition of the Malikite law school and the theological tradition of the Ashʿarite creed. According to the dominant political discourse, the unity of the kingdom can only be guaranteed by the unadulterated maintenance of this religious tradition.1 The Islamic message of the Moroccan authorities is spread through such vehicles as radio, television, and by the publication of religious journals, prominent among which is Majallat Dawat al-Haqq (issued by the Ministry of Pious Foundations in Rabat) which has appeared regularly, ever since Independence.
Religion is taught and studied at all educational levels in Morocco. The text-books for religious education at secondary levels are issued by the State and follow the dominant Islamic discourse of Morocco.2
1 Cf. Van Koningsveld 1990.
2 Since Independence, four separate series of such text-books have been pub-
lished: (1) [Old series]: Al-Tarbiya al-islâmiyya (wafqan li-'l-manhaj allatî aqarrathu
wizarat al-tarbiya al-wataniyya). Taɔlif Ahmad 'Abd al-Rahmân Isa. Printed in
Libanon. (2) [Series of the seventies]: Al-Tarbiya ai-islâmiyya wa-'l-wataniyya. (Published
in Casablanca by Wizârat al-thaqâfa wa-1-talîm al-aslî wa-'l-ɔâlî wa-'l-thânawi). (3)
[Series of the eighties]: Al-Tarbiya at-islâmiyya (Published in Casablanca and Rabat by
Wizârat al-tarbiya al-wataniyya wa-takwin al-utur). (4) [Series of the late eighties]:
Al-Tarbiya al-islâmiyya, (Published in Rabat by Wizarat al-tarbiya al-wataniyya).