Rabat – A delegation made up of representatives of Muslims, Jews, and Christians from southwest France has been visiting Morocco since last Sunday in collaboration with France’s Union of Mosques (UMF).
UMF, which facilitates interreligious dialogue in France, initiated this trip as part of a mission to represent French Islam, said Hauman Yaakoubi, Secretary-General of the Union.
Led by the president of the Regional Council of the Muslim Religion of Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur (PACA), Khalid Belkhadir, the delegation is expected to hold interviews with officials, and visit, until next Friday, a number of places of worship for the three monotheistic religions as well as sites in Morocco’s holy cities.
Morocco is home to many religious sites and some of the places the delegation will visit are Mosque Hassan II, the Church of Our Lady of Lourdes, and the Museum of Judaism in Casablanca.
The delegation is also expected to visit the Mohammed V Mausoleum and the Mohammed VI Institute for the Training of Imams in Rabat.
In Fes, the delegation will visit the Al Quaraouiyine Mosque, the Slat Al Fassiyine Synagogue, Aben Danan Synagogue, and other historical sites in the city.
The delegation was received Tuesday in Rabat by the Minister for Islamic Affairs, Ahmed Toufiq. They attended talks that focused on the Moroccan model of management in the religious field.
Toufiq applauded the delegation’s initiative and its willingness to discover the Moroccan model that advocates the values of moderate Islam, stressing that “the world today needs people who believe in moderation to affirm the universality of religious discourse.”
Morocco has long since sought to promote the vision of “tolerant Islam“ and to prevent proliferation of extremists in mosques by training imams in “best practices” of moderate traditions.
A considerable number of imams and mourchidates (female religious guides) come to Morocco from Sub-Saharan Africa and Europe, particularly France, to obtain theological training from Morocco’s religious scholars.
Morocco has also encouraged some of its eminent scholars to hold conferences in France and other parts of Europe, and has urged Sub-Saharan African mosques to preach the values of Islam.