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Exploring Religion in Morocco

Students in Professor Joe Laycock’s Religions of the World class had a unique opportunity while in Morocco to explore and compare the three Abrahamic religions (Islam, Christianity, and Judaism). During the field lab, students visited the Hassan II mosque, Notre Dame de Lourdes church, and the Museum of Moroccan Judaism to gain a greater understanding of the three faiths and the history of how they have interacted in Northern Africa.

Moroccan boys take turns jumping into a natural pool next to the Hassan II mosque in Casablanca. The mosque, which was completed in 1993, is the largest in Morocco and boasts the tallest minaret in the world.
Students gather at the base of the Hassan II minaret as they prepare to take a group photo.
A student explores the Hassan II mosque.
A student stands in an entrance leading to the basement of the Hassan II mosque where ablutions are performed prior to praying.
Mackenzie Enich from the University of Montana takes a photo of the public baths found in the basement of the Hassan II mosque.
While taking a break outside the mosque, students Mackenzie Enich, Rebecca Bornemann, and Anne-Marie Kottenstette share their impressions with each other.
Professor Joe Laycock answers questions posed by Dawn Buckhight, Wendy Levin, and Betsy Helfand in Casablanca’s Notre Dame de Lourdes church.
Wendy Levin, Tess Vanderhoof, Sarah Kluger, and Betsy Helfand sit in one of the pews at Notre Dame de Lourdes church.
A student looks at images of restored synagogues throughout Morocco. “There used to be a quarter million Jews in Morocco,” Professor Laycock explains, “but when Israel was created they all left. Hassan II asked them all to come back. Morocco is the only country in the Muslim world where Muslims and Jews have a sort of comradery.”
Constanza Chiriboga, Anna Sofia Rodriguez, Daniella Fajardo, and Johanna Jordan look at pieces of jewelry made by Jewish artisans in Morocco that are now on display at the Museum of Moroccan Judaism.
Claire Snyder, Rebecca Bornemann, Wendy Levin, and Johanna Jordan examine a piece of historic furniture from a synagogue.

Photos by Danny Askew, Unreasonable Media

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