(NAPSI)—Morocco has long been known to welcome cultural and religious diversity, and today it continues to demonstrate its commitment to religious tolerance.

Recently, at the 28th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, it was announced that Morocco has made an agreement with Belgium to provide the country with its program for training imams to spread the form of moderate, tolerant Islam practiced in Morocco. Morocco has similar agreements with a number of countries in North and West Africa.

Freedom of worship for all religions is nothing new in Morocco. In fact, it is enshrined in the country’s constitution. During World War II, Morocco’s Sultan protected Morocco’s Jews, and Israel’s large Moroccan Jewish population returns regularly to the country for religious pilgrimages.

Former President Bill Clinton recently noted that “The King of Morocco, a direct descendant of the Prophet, ordered the revamping of cemeteries and synagogues in Morocco.” He was referring to King Mohammed VI’s initiative, launched in 2010, to restore Morocco’s Jewish cemeteries—a project that included major refurbishing of 167 sites in 14 regions of the country.

Last month, the King awarded the Wissam al-Arch (Order of the Throne), a Moroccan decoration for distinguished civil or military service, to representatives of the Christian, Jewish and Muslim religions in France. At a ceremony at the Arab World Institute attended by French Prime Minister Manuel Valls, Moroccan Minister of Endowments and Islamic Affairs Ahmed Toufiq and other dignitaries, Morocco’s Princess Lalla Meryem presented the decorations to Khalil Merroun, Imam of Evry mosque; Michel Serfaty, Rabbi of Ris-Orangis; and Michel Dubost, Bishop of Evry.

As Mr. Clinton noted, at a time when France is still recovering from the shock of the terrorist shootings in Paris, young people are looking for positive examples. Morocco’s and King Mohammed VI’s ongoing commitment to religious tolerance and amity is just that kind of example.

This information is conveyed by Beckerman on behalf of the Government of Morocco. Further information is available at the U.S. Department of Justice.

 

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