King Mohammed VI urged the lovers of peace, life and tolerance to rise up against the dissemination of fanaticism and obscurantism and to counter advocates of terrorism, violence and excommunication.
The call was made in a message read out by Royal Advisor Omar Azziman, on the occasion of the commemoration, in the northern city of M’Diq, of the 5th anniversary of the death of Imad Ibn Ziaten, victim of a terrorist act perpetrated in 2012 in Toulouse.
“Today, I wanted to commemorate with you the fifth anniversary of the murder of the late Imad Ben Ziaten, victim of a despicable terrorist act, in order to show my solicitude and consideration for Moroccans living abroad, whether in sad or happy times,” said the Monarch in the Royal message.
The King commended the actions led by Imad’s mother Latifa Ibn Ziaten to raise awareness about the values of tolerance and coexistence through the association she has created, saying, “we feel a mother’s sorrow at the loss of her son and we realize the place he has in her heart. At the same time, we appreciate her wise and reasonable reaction after this tragic event. Instead of giving in to feelings of despair and surrendering to anger and hatred, she has proved that she is a living example of patience and tolerance.”
In the same vein, the king highlighted the role played by civil society actors “in raising awareness among young people and informing them of the dangers of fanaticism and reclusion.”
“They must counter the campaign staged by terrorists and by those using terrorist acts to point fingers at Islam and Muslims and aimed at distorting the image of the Islamic faith,” the King underscored.
“I am aware of the suffering endured by Muslims in general and Moroccans in particular in Western countries, due to the unjust and unacceptable confusion between Islam and terrorism peddled by some, either out of ignorance or deliberately and for evil purposes. The best way to counter such extremist ideas, while at the same time defending the tolerance of Islam and its innocence against unfair and hostile accusations, is to remain committed to its lofty values, as well as to authentic Moroccan traditions, which advocate love, fraternity and coexistence between peoples and religions,” the Monarch added.
In his speech on the occasion of the Revolution of the King and the People on August 20, King Mohammed VI stressed the need for Muslims, Christians and Jews to close ranks in order to tackle all forms of extremism, hatred and reclusiveness.
He deplored that Moroccans living in Europe bear the brunt of terrorist attacks and stigmatization and urged them to “maintain their good reputation, to show forbearance in these trying circumstances, to close ranks and to be, as always, staunch advocates of peace, concord and co-existence in their country of residence.”