Madagascar: Radical Islam Gaining Ground

In Madagascar, a predominantly Christian country , the rise of Islam is worrying the population. Sixteen Quranic schools have just been shut down by the authorities, and it seems that 2,000 mosques are currently under construction.

According to the information published on the RFI’s website on April 28, 2017, the Minister of Education in Madagascar has just announced that sixteen Quranic schools are being closed. The main accusation against these establishments is that they do not follow the official curriculum. According to the Minister of Education, quoted by RFI, the “professors” make the boys spend “five hours every day learning the Quran” and “make them shave their heads”. But the establishments do have the possibility of “rectifying their situation” before the end of the school year.

This decision by the authorities comes after the expulsion of about ten foreign imams who worked in the southeast of the country in September 2016. According to La Gazette de Madagascar, they were “natives of Pakistan hiding out in mosques and Quranic schools….Bearded, clothed in long tunics and white skullcaps, they were breaking” the laws. The imams did not have the “missionary” visas generally granted to religious.

As cath.ch remarked on April 30, 2016, these decisions raise “a fundamental issue: the imposing presence of Islam in Madagascar”. According to the local newspaper L’Express on April 29, 2017, the local population is “worried”. All the more so since the announcement that building permits were delivered for 2,000 mosques has not been denied. Cath.ch’s correspondent also mentions “the more and more noticeable presence of women fully veiled from head to foot in the streets of Antananarivo, the capital, that is known for being a city with few Muslims”. Halal products are also “more and more visible in the hotels bought or newly built by rich Muslim investors”.

When questioned on September 27, 2016, by the website Géopolis, Luc Raoeliariseheno, the director of the Madagascar Television Group (MATV), explained that “when  Madagascar’s airspace was opened, airlines from Dubai and Turkey showed up. This makes it easier for these people to travel. They can come as they please.” He also said that the imams “do everything they can to create Quranic schools. They take care of those who come to learn the Quran. Everything is taken care of. Even food and lodging are guaranteed. It is a godsend for the Malagasy, most of whom are poor. In these conditions, people accepte anything you can teach them”. The message spreads all the more easily since “the people have a more oral culture. Everything is passed on only by word of mouth. That is why it is easy to receive the Quranic messages of Islam”.

Luc Raoeliariseheno also revealed to Géopolis that in the south of the country the Muslims have organized an operation that consists in buying bibles in order to destroy them. “A bible is bought for 100 euros. Books of gospel songs for 25 euros.”

According to a report published by the French Institute of International Relations, some 160,000 Malagasy people were converted to Islam in 2013 alone.

According to Wikipedia, about 75% of the Malagasy are Christian (almost equally divided between Catholics and Protestants) and over 20% have no religion. Only 1% is Muslim. But for how much longer?

Source: cath.ch – RFI – Wikipedia – Geopolis – FSSPX.News 5/6/17

http://sspx.org/en/news-events/news/madagascar-radical-islam-gaining-ground-29667

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