Mauritania closes 'extremist' Islamic school

26.09.2018

The authorities in Mauritania have closed a school of Islamic theology accused of promoting extremism and having links with the Muslim Brotherhood, a security official told journalists on Tuesday.

The measure comes on the heels of a warning against politicised Islam issued by President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz.

"The centre for training ulemas (Islamic scholars) was closed last night by the police on the orders of the government, which accuses it of extremism," the source told journalists, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Located in the capital Nouakchott, the school was set up several years ago by Mohamed Elhacen Ould Dedaw, a prominent scholar reputed to be Mauritania's "main theologian" for the transnational Muslim Brotherhood.

The school trains high-level students, including nationals from West African states.

On 20 September, Aziz warned against any "single party using and usurping Islam" and said "measures will be taken at the appropriate time."

"Political Islam is dangerous," he said, warning that its ideology had "destroyed whole nations."

The following day, Ould Dedaw replied indirectly during Friday prayers when he said Arab countries "were destroyed by despotism and injustice, the main causes for the destabilisation of nations" swept up in the Arab Spring.    (AFP)

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