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Thursday 6 February 2020

Religious Tolerance is ‘Part of Collective Conscience of Moroccan Society’: Ambassador

Vocal synthesis
Religious Tolerance is ‘Part of Collective Conscience of Moroccan Society’: Ambassador

Morocco organized Tuesday in New York, in collaboration with the UN Office on Genocide Prevention and the Responsibility to Protect, a meeting on the fight against hate speech and incitement to discrimination, hostility and violence.

Speaking at the meeting, Morocco's permanent representative to the UN, ambassador Omar Hilale, underlined that "religious tolerance is part of the collective conscience of Moroccan society".

Hilale highlighted, during this meeting which coincided with the celebration of the World Interfaith Harmony Week, the long-standing tradition of religious and spiritual tolerance in the Kingdom, where coexistence between religions has been a reality for more than 12 centuries, as reflected by the coexistence of mosques, churches and synagogues in different cities of the Kingdom.

The Moroccan diplomat also underlined the leadership of His Majesty King Mohammed VI, Commander of the Faithful, in promoting interreligious and intercultural dialogue, moderation and respect for others, as evidenced by the historic visit of Pope Francis to the Kingdom, in March 2019, during which he congratulated the Sovereign for having provided "an effective and sound training to combat all forms of extremism, which so often lead to violence and terrorism, and which, in any event, constitute an offense against religion and against God himself."

Hilale also underscored the importance of the adoption of the Rabat Action Plan on the prohibition of any incitement to racial or religious hatred as well as the adoption, in January 2016, of the Marrakech Declaration on the rights of religious minorities in the Muslim world, and the Fez Action Plan on the role of religious leaders to prevent incitement to violence, launched by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in July 2017.

This meeting at the United Nations headquarters was also an opportunity for the diplomat to recall the adoption of the Moroccan resolution presented to the United Nations General Assembly in July 2019, on the fight against hate speech entitled: "Fight against hate speech: promotion of interfaith and intercultural dialogue and tolerance".

Hilale also shed light on recommendations that could help the international community fight hate speech, calling on all stakeholders to join efforts within the framework of the United Nations.

"The creation of a common platform that will bring together all initiatives remains quite important to reduce duplication," he pointed out.

The Moroccan ambassador also proposed the creation of a UN institute for international religious scholars that would provide training, supervision and advice on how they could use their role in their respective communities to promote a culture of peace, harmony and coexistence.

This meeting was marked by a large participation of several member states of the UN, as well as members of civil society who commended, on this occasion, Morocco's leadership in the fight against hate speech.

MAP 05 February 2020