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A big realization for me whilst traveling through Morocco: here there is no freedom from religion. Or of religion. You’re a Muslim and that’s that. Religion is woven into the fabric of everyday life. It’s everywhere. In the phraseology used regularly, in the decisions for the future, in the dress of the people, and in the daily plan. Prayers blare and bellow from every minaret (tower of a mosque) in every village in every town all over the country at the same time each day. “It’s morning, get up and pray,” the prayer urges sometime around 4 a.m.

I find it beautiful and peaceful. And I look forward to it, even at 4 a.m. But while that’s one sort of endearing thing about Morocco (or any Muslim country), or at least a stable and sure thing, I can’t imagine dealing with this day in and day out with or without being Muslim. But religion keeps a society in check. It controls it when the government or its people cannot. So it is. This is a Muslim country and you’re going to live with it, gosh darn it.