This study examines the migration of religious students to Morocco and their role in influencing the religious dynamics in West Africa. It analyzes the role of these schools in forming elites capable of defending popular Islam and confronting the expansion of Islamism in this region. It adopts a socio-historical approach to analyse the constant and the variable in religious education following Morocco's structuring of the curriculum in 2004. It examines how religious qualifications are organised and the implications of that and the characteristics of the students and outputs and prospects of religious education in Morocco. The study also reveals the interests for Moroccan religious elites in influencing policy in West Africa, where religious institutions and Sufi orders play active political roles.