HM King Mohammed VI, Commander of the Faithful addressed on Tuesday, June 14, 2016, in Fez, a speech on the occasion of the inauguration ceremony of the Higher Council of the Mohammed VI Foundation for African Ulema.
In his speech during the installation ceremony of the Foundation Higher Council, the monarch underscored that ''the Foundation is 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 to make it an effective, solidarity-based partnership, covering all sectors.”
The sovereign explained that his decision to create this institution “Has nothing to do with transient circumstances or narrow, passing interests, 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.”
“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 fulfill their duty and turn a spotlight on the true image of the pristine Islamic faith as well as on its open-minded values,” added the sovereign.
The King concluded his speech by saying ''I am convinced 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."
The Higher Council of the Mohammed VI Foundation for African Ulema crowns the series of actions undertaken by the King over the years and translates his strong commitment to promoting moderate Islam and counter and defeat extremism, focusing on invalidating extremist misinterpretations.
For recall, in 2015, Morocco established the Mohammed VI Institute for the training of Imams, Murshideen and Murshida (male and female preachers)''which aims to prepare the next generation of Muslim religious leaders from across the region to counter extremist interpretations of Islam. The program, which trains imams from Morocco and abroad to preach, practice and teach moderate Islam, is a unique and powerful weapon against violent extremism.
The Institute has trained Murshideen and Murshidat from Côte d’Ivoire, France, Guinea, Mali, and Tunisia. Also in 2015, Morocco launched the Mohammed VI Foundation for African Ulema to support Moroccan and African theologians and scholars in promoting religious tolerance and moderation on the continent. The Foundation will also support the establishment of religious and scientific schools and cultural centers to spread the values of moderate Islam.
In its last Country Reports on Terrorism released in June 2016 , the State Department acknowledged ''Morocco's comprehensive strategy for countering violent extremism that prioritizes economic and human development goals in addition to tight control of the religious sphere and messaging''. The State Department also noted that ''Throughout 2015, Morocco expanded its regional counter-radicalization efforts to include training Imams from France, Gabon, Guinea, Kenya, Libya, Mali, Nigeria, and Tunisia.''