Mohammed VI Foundation for African Ulema, a new milestone in disseminating Islam of the middle path
King Mohammed VI chaired in Morocco’s spiritual capital Fez on Tuesday the installation ceremony of the Higher Council of the recently set up Mohammed VI Foundation for African Ulema, a new milestone in the kingdom’s efforts to disseminate its Islam of the middle path, a doctrine based on tolerance, intercultural dialogue and respect of other faiths.
The new academic institution, which will enhance further the special religious and cultural ties existing between Morocco and African countries, was set up at the initiative of King Mohammed VI, Commander of the Faithful. It is meant to be a forum where Ulema from Morocco and other African States can discuss the Islamic thought, unify and coordinate their efforts to disseminate the values of tolerant Islam.
“I view the Mohammed VI Foundation for African Ulema as an institution for cooperation, for the exchange of experiences and for the Ulema to make concerted efforts to fulfil their duty and turn a spotlight on the true image of the pristine Islamic faith as well as on its open-minded values,” said the Sovereign in a speech during the installation ceremony of the Foundation Higher Council.
The ceremony was held in the Al Qaraouiyine Mosque in Fez, a genuine knowledge hub and a real magnet for many religious scholars of the African continent. It was attended by scores of theologians from the over 30 African Countries represented at the Foundation Higher Council.
These values “are based on moderation, tolerance and coexistence,” the King said, adding that “the aim is to make sure those values help us promote security, stability and development in Africa.”
The Sovereign expressed confidence that the Foundation, through its branches in African countries, and together with other religious institutions, “will play its role in disseminating enlightened religious precepts and in combating extremism, reclusiveness and terrorism – which our faith does not embrace in any way – but which are advocated by some clerics, in the name of Islam.”
King Mohammed VI underscored that the creation of the Foundation “reflects the depth of the time-honored spiritual bonds between sub-Saharan African peoples and the King of Morocco, Commander of the Faithful.
Actually, the King has, besides his temporal power, an acknowledged spiritual power, that carries with it responsibilities as Commander of the Faithful. The title is recognized beyond the borders of the Kingdom, especially to the south of the Sahara, where many Muslim communities share with Morocco the Maliki rite.
In his Speech, the Sovereign deemed the Foundation as another building block which further enhances Morocco’s strategic policy designed to raise the level of its political and economic cooperation with a number of sisterly African nations, in order, he said, “to make it an effective, solidarity-based partnership, covering all sectors.”
Explaining that his decision to create this institution “has nothing to do with transient circumstances or narrow, passing interests,” he said “It is rather in line with an integrated policy to promote constructive cooperation and respond to the requests from a number of sisterly African nations in the religious domain.”
The Foundation crowns the series of actions undertaken by the Sovereign over the years and translates his unfailing commitment for promoting the values of the Islam of the middle path. The sovereign has, among others, created the League of Ulemas of Morocco and Senegal, established the Institute of African studies, sponsored several conferences on Sufism and financed the construction of mosques in many African countries.
The Sovereign also set up in 2015 the Mohammed VI Institute for the Training of Imams, Murshideen and Murshidat (male and female preachers.)
All these actions fully illustrate Morocco’s successful part in the spread of moderate Islam and consequently the fight against terrorism.