US Praises HM King Mohammed VI’s Role in Preserving Jewish Heritage

The US State Department praised the efforts of His Majesty King Mohammed VI in preserving Jewish heritage and promoting coexistence and tolerance in Morocco.

“The monarchy continued to support the restoration of synagogues and Jewish cemeteries throughout the country,” underlined the US State Department in its 2022 Religious Freedom report, published on May 15.

The report, which was submitted by the US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, and American Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom, Rashad Hussain, stated that “Jewish citizens continued to state that they lived and attended services at synagogues safely,” adding that Jewish citizens affirmed that “they were able to visit religious sites regularly and to hold annual commemorations.”

The report also recalled the establishment of the National Council of the Moroccan Jewish Community, the Commission of Moroccan Jews Abroad, and the Foundation of Moroccan Judaism, noting that these bodies aim to safeguard the cultural and religious heritage of Judaism in Morocco, ensure the management of the Jewish community’s day-to-day affairs, and strengthen ties between Moroccan Jews in Morocco and abroad.

The US State Department’s report further mentioned the inauguration of the first university synagogue in the Arab world on the campus of Mohammed VI Polytechnic University in Rabat, next to the university’s new mosque, highlighting Morocco’s ongoing efforts to integrate Moroccan-Jewish history and culture into school textbooks.

“The Ministry of Education continued an ongoing review of the religion curriculum used in primary and secondary education and continued to make reforms based on universal values of liberty, empathy, solidarity, and honesty,” continued the report.

In addition, the report emphasized that “the government continued to disseminate information about Islam and Judaism over dedicated state-funded television and radio channels,” noting that the Prison Administration authorized religious observances and services provided by religious leaders for all prisoners, including religious minorities.

The report referred to the organization by the National Council of Human Rights (NCHR), in May 2022 in Rabat, of an international conference on international standards to ban the use of religion for political purposes.

The report also recalled the visit of the US Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism, Ambassador Deborah Lipstadt, to Morocco in November 2022. During her visit, Lipstadt held meetings with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation, and Moroccan Expatriates, Nasser Bourita, and the Minister of Endowments and Islamic Affairs, Ahmed Toufiq.

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