King Mohammed VI: UN Alliance of Civilizations, Powerful Peace-Maker
The UN Alliance of Civilizations, which opened Tuesday its 9th Global Forum in Fez, Morocco’s spiritual capital, is “a powerful vehicle for peace”, said King Mohammed VI.
In a message addressed to participants and read out by royal advisor André Azoulay, the Monarch said the international forum is convened on African soil, giving a strong signal of its continuity and universality as unites everyone around a shared purpose, which is to foster ‘an alliance of peace’, responding to the imperative need of ‘living together’, in the name of ‘one humanity’.
Morocco one of the founding members of the Alliance of civilizations and Fez which is hosting its 9th Global Forum is home to the Al-Quarawiyin University in Fez, the oldest university in the world and the place where Muslim and Jewish scholars, and even a pontiff, completed their instruction, said the King.
Today, the Euro-Mediterranean University, based in Fez, is fostering academic and intercultural dialogue between the two shores of the Mediterranean, added the Monarch, noting that Fez is the very incarnation of a fruitful alliance of civilizations.
Furthermore, After New York, Baku, Bali, Vienna, Doha, Rio, Istanbul and Madrid, it is only natural that the Global Forum of the Alliance of Civilizations meets on African soil as Africa the cradle of humanity, the melting pot of civilizations, the pool of youth and the promise of the future, said the King.
He also commended the UN High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations, Mr. Miguel Angel MORATINOS, for his resolve and his commitment, paying tribute to those who conceived the Alliance of Civilizations and built a platform serving as a model tribune for the promotion of understanding, trust and dialogue between cultures, religions and civilizations.
The current context is marked by the resurgence of the very causes which led to the creation of the Alliance of Civilizations, said the Moroccan Sovereign, citing in this regard the threats and challenges facing the global civilization with the surge of populism, radical voices, violence and manipulation of religion.
He also stressed the importance of promoting peace around the globe, affirming that dialogue always holds a positive promise: when it does not settle disputes, at least it enhances mutual understanding.
Morocco is built around a model of openness, harmony and synergy that has seen the convergence of Arab-Islamic, Amazigh and Saharan-Hassanian confluents, and that has, at the same time, been enriched by African, Andalusian, Hebrew and Mediterranean tributaries, stressed the King.
The Alliance’s values, the ideals it stands for and the paradigm it promotes are the exact same values, ideals and paradigm championed by Morocco, explained the Monarch.
Furthermore, the North African Kingdom has shown commitment to promoting openness as a pillar of the culture of peace, he said, recalling the heroic stand of late King Mohammed V, who protected the Jews from Nazi barbarism and segregationist practices of the Vichy regime.
“During his reign, my father, His late Majesty King Hassan II, nurtured the spirit of brotherhood between Moroccan Jews and Moslems, all over the world”, said the Monarch, underlining his steadfast commitment to enhance and safeguard the Moroccan Jewish heritage, and to cultivate a spirit of sincere communion between Jews and Moslems in a land of Islam, making Morocco unique.
“I believe religion should be a bulwark against extremism”, said the King, citing in this regard the Mohammed VI Foundation of African Ulema and the Mohammed VI Institute for the Training of Imams, Murshidin and Murshidat set up to thwart the radicalism that is rampant at the gates of Africa, and to promote a moderate, middle-of-the-road Islam.
The King also recalled the historic visit of Pope Francis to Morocco during which the Monarch and the Pope stressed the importance of seeing the three Abrahamic religions “open up to each other”, in the framework of respect for otherness and understanding of the Other.
“Together with Pope Francis, I signed the Al-Quds Appeal, which calls for the preservation of the Holy City as a gathering place for the faithful from the three monotheistic religions, and as a symbol of peaceful coexistence, dialogue and mutual respect”, said King Mohammed VI.