Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation, and Moroccan Expatriates, Nasser Bourita, stated, on July 31, that Morocco, under the Enlightened Leadership of His Majesty King Mohammed VI, is committed to several initiatives aimed at efficiently promoting the establishment of the fundamentals of coexistence and dialogue between civilizations.
In an address to the extraordinary meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on the desecration of the Holy Quran in Sweden and Denmark, Bourita stated that “Morocco, under the Leadership of His Majesty the King, has for several years been involved in a number of initiatives aimed at making an effective contribution to enshrining the fundamentals of coexistence and dialogue between civilizations, which include the Sovereign’s initiative at the 11th Islamic Summit held in Dakar in March 2008, which called for an international charter outlining the criteria and rules governing freedom of expression and opinion, as well as respect for religious symbols.”
In his speech, delivered by the Director of the Mashreq, Gulf, Arab, and Islamic Organizations at the Moroccan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Fouad Akhrid, Minister Bourita cited the launch in 2013 of the Rabat Action Plan on the prohibition of advocacy of national, racial, or religious hatred and the incitement to discrimination, hostility, or violence, recalling that the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) recently adopted a Moroccan resolution on “the promotion of interreligious and intercultural dialogue and tolerance to fight against hate speech,” unanimously adopted by its 193 member countries on July 25.
The Moroccan minister also cited another illustration of Morocco’s resolute commitment to promoting dialogue between cultures and civilizations, reflected in the Kingdom’s hosting of several meetings and forums in this field, most recently the 9th World Forum of the Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) held on November 22 and 23 in Fez, and the Parliamentary Conference on Interfaith Dialogue held on June 13 in Marrakech.
“As much as it condemns all obscurantist and barbaric violence committed in the name of Islam, Morocco denounces provocative attacks on the sacredness of Islam, while calling for the promotion of the values of coexistence and dialogue between societies, as well as the culture of peace,” stressed Bourita, adding that freedom of expression does not justify provocation and attacks on Islam as a religion, which has over two billion believers worldwide, as “acts of aggression against our Muslim religion committed by the same perpetrators call on us more than ever to reflect on the appropriate tools to counter and reduce them to a minimum.”
Morocco immediately denounced these despicable acts following the repetitive desecration of copies of the Holy Quran, calling on the Danish authorities in March to firmly apply the law and deal with this thoughtless behavior as it incites hatred and ensures that such behavior does not occur again under any circumstances.
Minister Bourita stressed the need to repress all forms of religious hatred and attacks of all forms on believers, underlining that following the repetitive acts of desecration of the Holy Quran in Stockholm on June 28, Morocco affirmed that “it is inadmissible to denigrate the faith of Muslims in this way, whatever the political positions and differences that may exist between Nations, and stressed that the principle of tolerance and universal values are not restricted to understanding the points of view of some and expressing little consideration for the beliefs of Muslims.”
Bourita recalled that the Swedish Chargé d’affaires in Rabat was summoned, upon the instructions of His Majesty King Mohammed VI, may Allah assist him, to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to inform him of Morocco’s condemnation and rejection of this unacceptable act, and that the Kingdom’s ambassador was recalled sine die for consultations.