Morocco’s model of religious tolerance is centered around clairvoyance, openness, and pragmatism.
Rabat – Morocco’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Nasser Bourita said on Monday during an international ministerial conference that religion is a “vector of unity against divisions.”
The minister participated in the Third Ministerial Conference on the “instrumentalization growth of religion for terrorist purposes in the context of the pandemic,” hosted by Poland and the US.
In an address via videoconference, the minister said Morocco’s conviction is that religion is hijacked when it should be a “vector of unity in the face of divisions advocating the negation of the other.”
For Morocco, religion should also be “a factor of dialogue in the face of the rejection of tolerance and coexistence and a source of light in the face of obscurantist currents which refuse moderation and remain in ignorance.”
Bourita also recalled that Morocco’s model of religious tolerance centered around three aspects: Clairvoyance, openness, and pragmatism.
Referring to clairvoyance, the minister said King Mohammed VI has stressed that religion is “no longer an alibi for the ignorant, because religion is light, knowledge, and wisdom.”
In terms of openness, Morocco’s foreign minister recalled the meeting of King Mohammed VI and Pope Francis in 2019, saying that the trip came at a time “when the world needed a renewed leadership for a dialogue between religions.”
Pope Francis’ visit to Morocco was deemed as historic. The visit marked the Moroccan monarch and the pope’s appeal — or the Al Quds Call — emphasizing the sacred character of Jerusalem.
Regarding pragmatism, the minister vowed that Morocco’s commitment to religious freedom is based on concrete actions.
“Morocco has set up two flagship insitutions to promote the values of a tolerant Islam: the Mohammed VI Insitute for the training of Imams, Mourchidines, and Mourchidates and the Mohammed VI Foundatin of African Ulema,” he underlined.
Thousands of imams come from foreign countries, including from states across Africa, to benefit from Morocco’s training programs.
Several reports lauded Morocco’s approach, including those from the US Department of State.
“Morocco’s approach [to religion] is always constant, even in difficult times,” Bourita said.
The minister aso spoke of Morocco’s “courage and determination” to protect Jews from Nazism during World War I. Decades later, Morocco continues to support its Jewish community and heritage through the renovation of synagogues and cemeteries and the creation of scientific and cultural institutions, including the House of Memory in Essaouira and the Museum of Jewish Culture in Fez.
Bourita concluded his speech with a quote from King Mohammed VI, who called during the visit of Pope Francis for an embrace of “the values of moderation to achieve the imperatives of co-knowledge and to apprehend the awareness of otherness” to live in a better world.