His Majesty King Mohammed VI stated that Morocco, with its commitment to religious coexistence and moderation, was among the pioneering countries to push for the establishment of international mechanisms dedicated to both inter-civilizational dialogue and to countering terrorism, radicalism, and extremism.
In a message addressed, on June 13, to participants in the Parliamentary Conference on “Interfaith Dialogue: Working together for our common future,” underway until June 15 in Marrakech, His Majesty the King stressed that these mechanisms include the Alliance of Civilizations Global Forum, which held its ninth session in November 2022 in Fez, the International Conference on Dialogue between Cultures and Religions and the Rights of Religious Minorities in Islamic Lands Conference.
In His Majesty’s message, delivered by Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rachid Talbi Alami, the Sovereign shed light on Morocco’s decisive and effective contribution to the establishment and structuring of the Global Counterterrorism Forum, which the Kingdom co-chaired for three terms between 2015 and 2022.
In a similar context, His Majesty the King underlined the importance of coexistence and dialogue, and Morocco’s firm commitment to moderation and tolerance, praising the Kingdom’s achievements in religious management, and the performance of the institutions established for this matter, including those provided for in the Constitution.
“In particular the Supreme Council of Ulema, the only body empowered to issue fatwas in order to prevent any transgression of the purposes assigned to these advisory opinions,” stated His Majesty the King, mentioning also the Mohammedia League of Ulema, one of the main organizers of this conference, Mohammed VI Institute for the Training of Imams, Morchidines and Morchidates, and Mohammed VI Foundation of African Ulema.
On this occasion, the Sovereign emphasized that “Morocco aims to remain a model state, in which the followers of the monotheistic religions coexist in an environment of fraternity and security,” noting that this policy “falls in line with my country’s centuries-long history of religious and cultural diversity and pluralism.”
“Indeed, for centuries, Muslims, Jews, and Christians have lived in coexistence on this land, and still coexist as the land of Morocco welcomed and protected thousands of people, Muslims, and Jews, who fled religious persecution in the Iberian Peninsula during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries,” underlined the Sovereign.
In this regard, His Majesty recalled that His grandfather, the late His Majesty King Mohammed V, may He rest in peace, protected thousands of Jews, who fled persecution from the Nazi-allied Vichy government.
“When he ascended the throne of his worthy ancestors, Our Venerable Father, His late Majesty King Hassan II, may He rest in peace, remained faithful to that same policy during his reign, providing care to Moroccan Jews,” continued the Sovereign in His message, adding that the late Majesty King Hassan II was keen to consolidate the values of coexistence and brotherhood among all Moroccans, Muslims and Jews alike.
His Majesty the King added that “history also records that the late His Majesty King Hassan II, may Allah rest His soul, took the initiative of receiving, in 1985, His Holiness Pope John Paul II, on the occasion of the first visit ever made by the Sovereign Pontiff to a Muslim country,” further noting that “thirty-four years following this historic visit, and following an official invitation addressed to the Sovereign Pontiff, We welcomed [in Morocco] His Holiness Pope Francis in March 2019.”
“I invited His Holiness to come on an official visit to Morocco because I believe in the virtues of interfaith dialogue, and in the importance of directing the efforts of religious authorities to serve peace, cooperation, and fraternity among all humans,” recalled His Majesty the King, underlining that since His Majesty’s accession to the Throne, He sought the promotion of the spirit of brotherhood, coexistence, cooperation, and cohesion between all Moroccans, Jews and Muslims alike.
Emphasizing that these values are the cornerstone of Moroccan civilization, His Majesty the King mentioned the architecture that prevails in Moroccan cities which features mosques, synagogues, and churches side by side.
The Sovereign underlined that this proximity goes beyond a town-planning requirement, as it embodies tolerance and the spiritual, human, and civilizational values deep-rooted in Moroccan society, reaffirming that “as King of Morocco and Commander of the Faithful, I am entrusted with ensuring the free practice of religious rites as well as the protection of Moroccan Jews and Christians from other countries, who live in Morocco.”