The Kingdom of Morocco, leader in promoting true Islam: the Islam of Moderation

imagesHis Majesty King Mohammed VI

I came across a very interesting article I have found in The Times of India which I have decided to publish part of the article. I agree completely in what the article says and I am sure most of you will too:

In order to tackle the problem of the terror of Jihadism, one needs to understand the nature of this jihadi virus. By its very character it is able to quickly latch on to grievances through the narrative of injustice. While Islam indeed extols believers to fight against oppression and discrimination, it also abjures the use of violence for achieving one’s goals. But the proponents of jihadi extremism cleverly elide over the latter while emphasising the former.

Since all Islamist terrorist groups derive inspiration from distorted theology, the antidote lies in propagating true Islam. Extremist ideology needs to be countered with moderate ideology. In this regard, the North African constitutional monarchy of Morocco is pioneering the fight against the jihadi virus through the battle of ideas. The country’s Muhammadan League of Scholars is doing exemplary work in strengthening a brand of Islam that is rooted in the Quran but also the product of reason and contextual interpretation. Such moderate Islam has no conflict with modern life despite its grounding in theological teachings. Indeed, it is adherence to this interpretation of Islam that has largely staved off the jihadi virus from infecting Morocco.

Add to this Morocco’s King Mohammed VI’s farsighted foreign policy vision that has guided Rabat to facilitate training of imams from neighbouring African nations in its own moderate Maliki Islam. Such an initiative is bound to have a ripple effect throughout the African continent and counter jihadi Islamist tendencies. And given that almost all jihadi groups are networked and rely on each other for material and ideological support, Morocco’s push for moderate Islam strikes at the very root of the problem.

The international community must support Morocco’s efforts as Rabat, in its own unique way, tries to turn the tide of extremism that is threatening Middle East and North Africa. The challenge is humongous and the solution requires years of patience. But Morocco’s pioneering work could eventually shift the balance of power in the battle of ideas between extremist Islam and moderate Islam. Success on this front will automatically deny oxygen to jihadi terror groups wherever they are, making it easier for security forces to demolish their networks. This in turn should facilitate inclusive economic development to pull the rug from under groups such as Boko Haram.

Finally, India, which is deeply concerned about the spectre of jihadi terror looming over its neighbourhood and has significant stakes in Africa, should take cognisance of Morocco’s efforts. Both countries should enhance bilateral cooperation to strengthen the international security framework against global Islamist terrorism.

The Times of India