Mew Delhi - In yet another significant speech, Morocco’s King Mohammed VI used the occasion of the 63rd anniversary of the Revolution of the King and the People earlier this month to not only condemn terrorism perpetrated in the name of Islam, but also called on the Moroccan diaspora to remain committed to their traditional values and abjure terrorist activities.
Mew Delhi – In yet another significant speech, Morocco’s King Mohammed VI used the occasion of the 63rd anniversary of the Revolution of the King and the People earlier this month to not only condemn terrorism perpetrated in the name of Islam, but also called on the Moroccan diaspora to remain committed to their traditional values and abjure terrorist activities.
In fact, he told Moroccans living abroad to “maintain their good reputation” and be “staunch advocates of peace, concord and co-existence in their countries of residence”. True, Morocco has been championing policies that seek to promote a moderate interpretation of Islam for some time now. But King Mohammed’s latest speech on the subject addresses the issue directly and clearly.
For King Mohammed VI emphatically stated that those who engage in terrorism in the name of Islam “are not Muslims”. He further stressed that “those who call for murder and aggression, those who excommunicate people without a legitimate reason, those who interpret the Quran and the Sunnah to suit their purposes, are actually lying to Allah and His Messenger.” Describing terrorists he said, “They think, out of ignorance, that they are engaging in jihad. Since when has jihad been synonymous with killing innocent people?”
Continuing in the same vein, King Mohammed VI ridiculed the convoluted ideas of reward for jihad, questioning, “How could anyone of sound mind believe that the reward for jihad is a number of virgins? How could one possibly accept that anyone who listens to music will be swallowed by the depths of the earth, and other such lies?” He exhorted Muslims, Christians and Jews to close ranks against extremism, hatred and reclusiveness.
Taken together, the two axes of King Mohammed VI’s speech – distortion of Islam by terrorism and how the Moroccan diaspora should conduct itself – hold immense value for the Arab-Muslim world. First, it’s a fact that several people of Moroccan origin living in European countries have been accused of joining the Islamic State terror group and participating in the outfit’s terror activities. Given the weight of authority of the Moroccan monarch, his unambiguous condemnation of terror activities as un-Islamic is something that the Moroccan people simply can’t ignore. Indeed, his majesty’s words are bound to influence the Moroccan-origin community in Europe and increase its resistance to the predations of terror recruiters.
Second, in clearly rejecting the so-called religious justifications of terror groups in carrying out violent actions, King Mohammed has put forth the true position of Islam. This is not only important for the larger Muslim ummah but also significant for the non-Muslim community in understanding Islam. There’s no denying the fact that for decades now certain forces have deliberately propagated a radical misinterpretation of Islam. In doing so these forces have not only created fertile grounds for radical Islamist groups to mushroom, but also created certain misconceptions about the Islamic faith among non-Muslims. Unless and until this situation is reversed, Islamist terror outfits will always find an audience to preach to, creating suspicions among non-Muslims.
Seen in this context, King Mohammed VI’s strident rejection of terrorism and Morocco’s efforts at promoting moderate Islam form a critical part of the ideological battle that needs to be waged against Islamist extremism. In that sense, what King Mohammed VI and Morocco are attempting to do is put forth the true tenets of Islam. In fact, nomenclatures such as moderate and radical Islam should be replaced by true and distorted Islam. The international community should welcome Morocco’s emergence as a fundamental pillar of the Muslim ummah and a custodian of true Islam.
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Morocco World News’ editorial policy