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Morocco Approves UN Convention On Religious Freedom

8 April 2014 No Comment Email This Post Email This Post


Morocco Approves UN Convention On Religious Freedom

The Kingdom of Morocco which has a history of religious tolerance has approved the UN Human Rights Council’s draft resolution on religious freedom. According to the below Italian periodical this brings an end to trials of apostasy.

As Islamic scholar Dr. Sherman Abdul Hakim Jackson has explained, apostasy is at “the heart of a burning debate among modern Muslims.” This is reflected in the range of views on the subject but what should be noted is that this is an intra-Muslim conversation and thankfully malignant and unhelpful Western campaigns against Islam, Shariah and Muslims have either been ignored and or minimal in this specific context. That is not to say that international criticism did not play a role but its influence is often exaggerated, local considerations and movements/currents played a larger role.

What the article omits (overly focusing on “international criticism”) is the fact that at the forefront of the debate has been concerned Moroccan scholars such as the influential legal theorist Ahmed Al-Raysouni (who has written on the subject for decades) who are interested in fulfilling the objectives of the Shariah which they find are violated in such cases by a reliance on out-of-context pre-Modern rulings.

The role of Muslim American organizations like ISNA should also be acknowledged. They have played a positive role in the debate, bringing to the table their experience in Islamic legal theory, inter-faith dialogue and religious freedom in the USA. ISNA did after all convene with its North African partners an important convention in 2013 on the subject in Morocco. (h/t: Mourad)

(Google translate, Italian to English)

Morocco approves an international convention on freedom of religion

Arab Press
Alif Post 
Morocco is among the Arab-Islamic countries that have approved the draft resolution of the Council for Human Rights of the United Nations on the freedom of religious belief. The acceptance by the United Moroccan marks the end of the processes occurring in the country for apostasy in recent decades, provoking strong international criticism.

In addition to Morocco, the Council has seen the participation of many other Muslim countries to the text of the new project, which emphasizes “the need to protect the right of every individual to choose his religious denomination, allowing them to freely practice”, also ensuring the ‘teaching.  fact, all Muslim countries present at the polling has confirmed their approval of the resolution.  In the text of the law that “every individual is free to have or not to have their own religion and to change it without fear of being judged or condemned “.

The vote, however, has given rise to conflicting positions: on the one hand has found approval in political and humanitarian, the most conservative refrained from any comment, except for the Salafi al-Mouhammad Fizazi, who has expressed his rejection for freedom of apostasy; other activists have instead posted negative comments on their Facebook profiles.

The decision of Morocco involves a turning point in the religious life of Moroccans, after the country has witnessed several court trials for “change of doctrine” or “convert to Christianity”: even if the judgments were limited and read, they however, created much controversy both from the point of view of religious and political, arousing the great embarrassment of the Kingdom in international fora, including the European Parliament.

Morocco has always been very lenient about the conversion of one individual to another religious denomination, provided that happen in a discreet and non-public, for fear of not circulate rumors about cases of proselytism in a conservative society and do not have negative consequences. However, today  the states can no longer control the individual conversions of their citizens due to the development of the interactions between the various actors of the international community. This is easily seen in the case of Morocco, which has a population of about 5 million migrants, of which almost 84% of which are located in countries that  guarantee freedom of worship.

At the same time, technological development and media Moroccans have become the target of numerous programs in a religious – Shiites, Wahhabis, as well as Christians – that the state has no way to control or stop.

In the face of these developments, Morocco has therefore felt the need for a new constitutional amendment and other legal instruments to guarantee its citizens full freedom of belief.

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