Morocco Oasis of Coexistence between Muslims and Jews in MENA region – NBC News

Morocco, under the leadership of King Mohammed VI, stands as a peaceful oasis of religious tolerance and coexistence between Jews and Muslims, said NBC news in an article on its website.

Titled, “For Jews and Muslims of Morocco, a Supportive Relationship Built on a Complex History,” the article sheds light on centuries-old history of Jewish existence in Morocco, noting that the North African Kingdom is home to the largest Jewish community in the MENA region.

The article features interviews with eminent Jewish figures in Morocco and artists championing religious tolerance in the country and highlights the ancient roots of the Moroccan Jewish community.

Speaking to NBC news, Robert Satloff, director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, who spent two years living in Morocco while researching his book, “Among the Righteous: Lost Stories of the Holocaust’s Long Reach into Arab Lands” explained Jews were better off in Morocco compared to elsewhere in the Muslim world.

He added that King Mohammed VI is the only leader in the region who actively protects religious tolerance and coexistence.

The article also cites André Azoulay, a Jewish Senior Adviser to the King, who shed light on facets of Morocco’s protection of Jews. “Judaism in Morocco is in the roots, the identity, the mindset of the Moroccan people,” Azoulay said.

For his part, Kamal Hachkar, a Moroccan Muslim historian and filmmaker called the flight of Morocco’s Jews “a big loss for Morocco,” adding, “It’s important to preserve the long history between Jews and Muslims here.”

In 2011, Morocco adopted a new Constitution recognizing Judaism as a facet of the Moroccan identity. Today, Jews account for less than 3,000 of Morocco’s 35 million residents — a small fraction of the nearly 300,000 who lived here before the establishment of Israel in 1948.

 

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