Weekly Photo Challenge: Beyond

Mosque Fez Morocco

Beyond The Doors – The Forbidden Mosque

The Mosque wasn’t open for business at this time but we wouldn’t have been allowed in even if it had because non-believers are forbidden from entering a Muslim Mosque at any time.

In another post I wrote about how we were unwelcome in the holy city of Moulay Idriss, so much so that Abdul, the taxi driver wouldn’t stop for even a moment or two for a sightseeing walk through the intriguing streets but there were other exclusion zones in both Fez and Meknes.  These were the Mosques and although we could look through the open doors and windows we were certainly not allowed to step over the threshold. 

I find this difficult to understand, apparently even the prophet Muhammad invited Christians to pray in a mosque before meeting with them but it seems that attitudes have changed and intolerance has become an unwelcome religious characteristic.  I am forced to compare this with our own balanced approach which certainly (I hope) wouldn’t exclude a visitor of a different faith to the UK entering, for example, Westminster Abbey or any other religious building.

15 responses to “Weekly Photo Challenge: Beyond

  1. attitudes to religion are different in the UK…I am sure that no foreigner would ever be turned away from any English church….. but then UK is different in a lot of ways..some good and some bad..and I don’t mean that other countries are wrong just a different culture

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  2. Just to offer some perspective, this exclusion is country specific, and particularly strict in Morocco. Egypt, Jordan and Turkey, among the Islamic countries I have visited, have no such restrictions and one is allowed into all mosques, except during prayer times. Strangely, some mosques in India ban non believers, but that might be retaliation for some (not all) temples that do the same! It has more to do with politics and power play than religion in my opinion 🙂

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  3. Then again one is not allowed into the Mormon Temples without a church authorized “temple recommend”. Only exception is when a new Temple is dedicated and they have an open house sort of thing.

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  4. I’ve sometimes felt uncomfortable being a tourist in cathedrals and churches, taking my happy snaps while others pray. Such reservations come from purely my own sensitivity. I’ve never been made unwelcome in a church, cathedral or in buddhist or hindu temples either.

    I don’t know how I’d be received if I tried to enter a mosque. I never have, though I love being in a Muslim country and waking to the meuzzins’ call to prayer (I’m an early waker anyway).

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  5. My sister and I have been in a number of mosques but have never traveled to Morocco and, as women, aren’t really all the keen to do so. When we were kids and our family went to Salt Lake City we couldn’t go to the inner sanctum or whatever you call it at the Temple which was a huge relief to us – we didn’t want to be inside much less inside a church!

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  6. Interesting take on the challenge, I like it – and the photo. Can’t imagine being allowed in any of the Gib mosques either, but obviously, most Muslims here are of Moroccan origin.

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  7. What is there to hide? And, so much beautiful architecture to share…Too bad. A shame, really.

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