Rabat - The Jewish community in New York has praised King Mohammed VI and described him as a "role model for the entire world" in terms of religious coexistence.
Rabat – The Jewish community in New York has praised King Mohammed VI and described him as a “role model for the entire world” in terms of religious coexistence.
The relationship between Islam and Judaism was at the heart of a ceremony in New York this Thursday.
“What country other than Morocco could have gathered in the heart of New York a full house to celebrate the exceptional closeness between Islam and Judaism, of which my country is the most emblematic flag bearer in the Mediterranean,” said M André Azoulay, Counselor to the King. Azoulay was being awarded the Pomegranate Award for Lifetime Achievement by the Sephardic American Federation (ASF).
The auditorium for the Center for Jewish History in New York was unable to accommodate the large audience. They had congregated to participate in a reunion to celebrate the common past, and the bright present that illuminates the way to a promising future between Islam and Judaism.
As the program for this ceremony unfolded, the performance of celebrated singer Enrico Macias drew from his rich repertoire to celebrate coexistence, nostalgia and a long-lived life together. A young Kuwaiti singer, Ema Shah, who came from Kuwait for the occasion, artists Neta Elkayam and Amit Hai Cohen also performed, as did baritone David Serero. He sang the Moroccan national anthem in front of an audience who joined with him in an atmosphere of intense communion.
This celebratory meeting illustrated the rich facets of the universality of Moroccan culture, which was enshrined in the new Constitution adopted in 2011. The constitution stipulated that the Moroccan national identity is one and indivisible, and insisted that this “unity, forged by the convergence of its Arab-Islamic, Amazigh and Saharan-Hassani components, has been nourished and enriched by its African, Andalusian, Hebraic and Mediterranean tributaries.”
David Dangoor, President of the ASF, underlined that King Mohammed VI represents a model not only for the leaders of the region, but for the whole world. He stressed the laudable actions that the Moroccan monarch has undertaken, in particular for the restoration of cemeteries and other Jewish sites throughout the Kingdom.
The President of the ASF was speaking as part of the award ceremony for the “Pomgranate Award for Lifetime Achievement” to the King’s advisor, André Azoulay. The honour occurred on the occasion of the 20th edition of the Sephardic Jewish Film Festival, which is celebrating the Moroccan culture and coexistence between Muslims and Jews this year.
According to Dangoor, “what Morocco has achieved in terms of coexistence, recognition of history and generosity of spirit is simply incomparable.”
Azoulay received the award “in recognition of his outstanding work” aimed at deepening the Islam-Judaism relationship, consolidating inter-religious dialogue, and “promoting coexistence and exchanges between different religions,” said the ASF.