RABAT, Morocco — Morocco’s king on Saturday appealed for “a united front against extremism” and urged members of the North African country’s diaspora, many of them in Europe, to defend a tolerant form of Islam.
Mohammed VI called on the five million Moroccans living abroad to “defend peace, harmony and unity in their respective countries of residence.”
“We strongly condemn the murder of innocents,” the king said, adding that the killing in France last month of a priest was “unforgivable.”
Europe, and France in particular, has suffered a spate of recent terrorist attacks and European citizens of Moroccan origin as well as dual nationals have been implicated in a number of assaults in France and Belgium.
Preaching a form of tolerant and moderate Islam, Morocco has positioned itself in Africa and the Muslim world as a key voice in the fight against jihadism.
The king regularly calls on his citizens to practice an Islam “of peace” but Saturday was the first time he directly addressed the Moroccan diaspora.
“Terrorists who kill in the name of Islam … are condemned to eternal hell,” he said.
“They are exploiting some young Muslims, particularly in Europe, exploiting their ignorance of Arabic and true Islam to relay their messages and false promises,” he added.
The Times of Israel covers one of the most complicated, and contentious, parts of the world. Determined to keep readers fully informed and enable them to form and flesh out their own opinions, The Times of Israel has gradually established itself as the leading source of independent and fair-minded journalism on Israel, the region and the Jewish world.
We've achieved this by investing ever-greater resources in our journalism while keeping all of the content on our site free.
Unlike many other news sites, we have not put up a paywall. But we would like to invite readers who can afford to do so, and for whom The Times of Israel has become important, to help support our journalism by joining The Times of Israel Community. Join now and for as little as $6 a month you can both help ensure our ongoing investment in quality journalism, and enjoy special status and benefits as a Times of Israel Community member.