King Mohammed VI has stressed the key importance of education in combating racism, discrimination and anti-Semitism, noting that these scourges must be countered by building the resilience of young children to extremist ideologies and encouraging the principles of tolerance, openness and co-existence.
In a message addressed to a UN high-level panel on “The Power of Education in Preventing Racism and Discrimination: the Case of Anti-Semitism”, held Wednesday in NY on the sidelines of UN General Assembly, the Sovereign said education “must help children to embrace openness and human and cultural diversity. It should foster the emergence of curious, tolerant and enlightened minds that can flourish and thrive in countries like Morocco, where cultural interaction and mutual enrichment are part of everyday life”.
Morocco “perceives the promotion of quality education as the transformative force linking the 17 Sustainable Development Goals”, added the Monarch in his message read out by Head of Govt Saad Eddine El Othmani.
“My country, where Arab-Islamic, African and Judeo-Christian civilizations have long mingled, honors an immutable tradition of moderation, coexistence and mutual understanding”, stressed the Moroccan Sovereign, citing in this regard the history of Moroccan Jews.
This history, shaped by the Sultans and Kings of Morocco, “tells the story of an intertwined destiny and a historical continuity – one in which Moroccan Jews have always been considered full-fledged citizens, enjoying the same rights as their fellow Moslems”, said King Mohammed VI.
In Morocco, “Jews and Moslems rub shoulders on a daily basis, mutually enriching one another and learning from their respective upbringing”, underlined the Monarch, affirming that “religious coexistence is real” in the North African country wherein mosques, synagogues and churches exist alongside.
“This is the image we want to see engraved in our children’s minds. This is the legacy we want to bequeath to them, and this is the message of peace we have come to deliver by giving education the special, rightful place it deserves”.
The King also deplored the rise of hate speech, fueling racism, xenophobia, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism and many other forms of discrimination which provide a breeding ground for violent extremism and growing insecurity.