Morocco reiterated its call for greater efforts at the multilateral level to promote coexistence, dialogue, and pluralism, in order to fight Islamophobia and promote respect for religions and beliefs, at a special United Nations (UN) event held in New York to commemorate the first International Day to Combat Islamophobia.
During this event, which was organized by the President of the United Nations General Assembly, Csaba Kőrösi, and Pakistani Foreign Minister and Chair of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Council of Foreign Ministers, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Morocco’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations (UN), Omar Kadiri, noted that His Majesty King Mohammed VI reiterated the importance of these values, in the royal message addressed to the 9th United Nations Alliance of Civilizations Global Forum (UNAOC), held in Fez last November.
His Majesty the King stressed, in this message, that “politics speaks to citizens, religion speaks to their souls, and dialogue speaks to their civilizations, noting that we must speak of, and embrace, peace, which is based on the hopes of past and future generations.”
Kadiri also reiterated Morocco’s “unwavering” commitment and adherence to openness, peace, and constructive dialogue between all religions and beliefs.
The Moroccan diplomat stated that under the enlightened leadership of His Majesty the King, Commander of the Faithful, Morocco protects and promotes its deep-rooted coexistence between religions and civilizations, and its leading role in promoting these sacred values internationally.
Kadiri stated that Morocco, with its rich and profound civilizational history, considers mutual respect as one of its national, regional, and international priorities, recalling that the Moroccan Constitution refers, in its preamble, to religious and cultural coexistence as an essential prerequisite. He also referred to Morocco’s national immigration and asylum policies, which are based on acceptance, integration, and humanism.
In addition, the Deputy Permanent Representative said that the creation, in 2014, of the Mohammed VI Institute for the Training of Imams, Morchidines, and Morchidates, which offers humanistic and moderate training in practical and theoretical subjects of Islamic teachings to religious preachers, is a practical moderate model of religious training that has attracted many African, Arab and European imams. These imams are introduced to the values of mutual respect and learn to deconstruct the threats of hate, extremism, radicalization, and terrorism.
The Moroccan diplomat also noted that the Kingdom pays great attention to the inclusion of youth, women, and civil society actors in the development of public policies, which has allowed the promotion of democracy and human rights.
Morocco also attaches great importance to the effective implementation of the United Nations (UN) mechanisms to promote interreligious and intercultural dialogue and to combat hate speech, including “The Rabat Plan of Action on the prohibition of advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence” and the ”Fez Process for Religious Leaders and Actors to Prevent Incitement to Violence that Could Lead to Atrocity Crimes.”
In the same context, Kadiri stated that Morocco “strongly” condemns Islamophobia and every form of discrimination and hatred against any religion or belief, further stressing Morocco’s disapproval and categorical rejection of the desecration of the Holy Quran, and all types of attacks against the sacred religious symbols of Muslims.
The Moroccan diplomat also stated that such dangerous and provocative acts affect over a billion Muslims in the world, noting that such Islamophobic acts cannot under any circumstances be interpreted as a form of freedom of speech and that these dangerous acts are a violation of international human rights instruments.
Kadiri recalled, in this regard, that Article 20 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) clearly states that “any advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence shall be prohibited by law.”
In March 2022, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) unanimously adopted the historic resolution 76/245, which proclaimed March 15 as the International Day to Combat Islamophobia.
Morocco actively participated in the negotiation and adoption process of the said resolution, introduced by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), which calls, among other things, for the strengthening of international efforts to boost a global dialogue on promoting tolerance and peace at all levels, based on mutual respect for human rights.