After becoming the modern era’s first Muslim country to recognize a Jewish rabbinic authority, Morocco is now pushing to institutionalize local elections for Jewish representatives.
Rabat – King Mohammed VI has instructed Morocco’s interior minister to plan elections for local representatives of Morocco’s Jewish community, a press release from the royal cabinet states.
The move comes as King Mohammed VI works to institutionalize the historical rights of Moroccan Jews.
In his public statements in recent months, the Moroccan King has repeated his desire to establish Morocco as a land of peaceful cohabitation between different faiths.
According to the royal cabinet’s press statement, the election of local Jewish representatives has not taken place in Morocco since 1969. With this move, the statement suggested, King Mohammed VI is sending a symbolic message to the Jewish community about their safety and rights in their country.
In the same instructions, King Mohammed VI also asked that the election not be a one-off event. The King instructed that the frequency for elections be in accordance with the May 7, 1945 Dahir (royal decree).
The news comes days after the historic appointment of Rabbi Yoshiyahu Pinto as the chief rabbinical judge for Morocco’s Jewish community. The appointment made Morocco the first Muslim country in the modern world to recognize a Jewish religious authority.
Serge Bardugo, a key figure of the Moroccan Jewry, who attended Rabbi Pinto’s swearing-in ceremony as King Mohammed VI’s special emissary, stressed the King’s belief in inter-religious dialogue.
He said that Rabbi Pinto’s appointment fell within the context of the King’s sustained push for peaceful cohabitation and dialogue between the three Abrahamic religions that have historically found in Morocco a home.
“The Moroccan Kingdom has never ceased to pursue the love and adoration which exists between the sons of Abraham, an affinity which unites them all,” Bardugo said.