New York - The Marrakech conference on the protection of religious minorities in Muslim countries, calls on Muslim states to protect Non-Muslim minorities and ensure religious freedom for all regardless of their faith.
New York – The Marrakech conference on the protection of religious minorities in Muslim countries, calls on Muslim states to protect Non-Muslim minorities and ensure religious freedom for all regardless of their faith.
Marrakech held a three-day conference on January 25-27, on “The Rights of Religious Minorities in Predominantly Muslim Majority Communities: Legal Framework and a Call to Action.”
Hundreds of Muslim scholars from over 120 countries and leaders from all religious groups gathered in Marrakech in southern Morocco between January 25 and 27 to reaffirm the principles of the “Charter of Medina” for the protection of non-Muslims living in the Arab World.
The final document of the conference referred to as the “Marrakech Declaration” builds on “the Charter of Medina…which guaranteed the religious liberty of all, regardless of their faith.”
The declaration reaffirms the principles of “constitutional contractual citizenship,” such as freedom, solidarity, defense, as well as “justice and equality before the law,” using “Common Word” without bias or violence.
It calls on Muslim authorities to further develop the concept of “citizenship” based on Islamic tradition but inclusive of all groups regardless of religious identification.
It also urges educational establishments to review any material that may lead to extremism, violence and terrorist acts, and calls upon politicians to strengthen relationships among religious groups living in the Muslim World. The declaration asks artists to raise awareness on the rights of minorities.
The declaration emphasizes the need to “call upon representatives of the various religions, sects and denominations to confront all forms of religious bigotry, vilification, and denigration of what people hold sacred, as well as all speech that promote hatred and bigotry.”
“It is unconscionable to employ religion for the purpose of aggressing upon the rights of religious minorities in Muslim countries,” the declaration adds.
In the wake of the recent terrorist acts that have shaken several countries including Lebanon, Syria, France, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Palestine and the United States, the Muslim world has been blamed for the acts of criminals that do not represent Islam.
Hate crimes against Muslims across the world have risen to alarming levels as well as intolerance and violence toward non-Muslims in Muslim majority countries.
Morocco, known as a “tolerant” and “moderate” country where religious minorities can coexist in peace and harmony, hosted the three-day conference that set up the legal framework for the protection of non-Muslims.
On Wednesday, US President Barack Obama hailed the Marrakech Conference in a speech in Washington D.C. at the Embassy of Israel, during the International Day in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust’s “Righteous Among Nations Award Ceremony.”
“In Morocco, leaders from Muslim-majority countries around the world just held a summit on protecting religious minorities, including Jews and Christians,” Obama said.
President Obama asked everyone to speak out and stand firm against evil that seeks to divide us based on our religious preference and to learn from our shared past and reject indifference.
“It means cultivating a habit of empathy, and recognizing ourselves in one another; to make common cause with the outsider, the minority, whether that minority is Christian or Jew, whether it is Hindu or Muslim, or a nonbeliever; whether that minority is native born or immigrant; whether they’re Israeli or Palestinian,” he added.