Baligh Al Mekhlafi
This paper is part of a project that aimed at introducing a vision on institutions reform in the Arab region that tackled media, judiciary and religious institutions in three countries Egypt, Tunisia and Yemen. The paper’s focus is identifying the core problems in religious institutions in Yemen and approaching recommendations to tackle these problems.
Religious institutions in Yemen are entitled to run the religious issues such as Endowments, Fatwa, houses of worship as well as religious guidance and in the framework of these aspects, the activities undertaken by these institutions vary from solely religious roles to social roles. These institutions face multiple problems that can be encapsulated in the following points, weakness of their effectiveness and inability to perform their entitled roles, in addition to the absence of any initiatives to reform these institutions, moreover the political use of these institutions to serve certain political interests and groups. The weakness of its role as well led to the emergence of a gap those extremist groups in the society fill with their ideas to influence societies and turn them into an incubator for these groups.
Furthermore, legislations and policies related to the work of religious institutions in Yemen can be described as incapable of regulating the role these institutions are entitled to. The existing legislations focus mainly on organizational aspects. As well, these legislations do not give religious institutions the needed level of independence to perform influential roles.
Summing up the main three problems of religious institutions in Yemen can be as follows:
1- Defect in regulatory policies and institutional performance.
2- The inability of these institutions to develop mechanisms for to provide its services.
3- The inefficiency of managing and allocation of its available resources.
In that, sense the paper concludes with introducing some strategies for dealing with these problems and they are:
1- Internal institutional development: In terms of restructuring and developing Yemeni religious intuitions to be able to work effectively and independently based on governance and democracy.
2- Developing services: in terms of developing mechanisms of service provision of these institutions to be more inclusive and of quality.
3- Developing the management of financial resources: religious institutions possess vast resources, and in that sense, there should be policies that guarantee the just and transparent allocation of these resources to be used for societal and developmental causes to enhance the role of religious institutions in the face of the extremist groups.
This paper is available in Arabic on this link: https://goo.gl/E3KB7p