Hassan attacks 'plague' of fanaticism

KING Hassan II of Morocco, Emir il Muminin (Commander of the Faithful), a descendant of the Prophet Mohamed's family, will have no truck with the wave of militant Islam sweeping north Africa. The politicisation of religious radicalism is a deviation from Islam, he believes.

In an interview with the London-based, Arabic-language daily newspaper Asharq al-Awsat, published today, the monarch says forms of religious extremism and usuliyya (return to the roots of religion) have existed throughout history. 'Fanaticism in the past plagued ritual practices. Nowadays it is the whole range of political and social life that is succumbing to this plague,' he says.

'I consider it blasphemy or, to put it more accurately, it is a new duality, an encroachment against the concept of the unity of God . . . We should resort to what the Christians say: Render unto God the things which are God's and unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's. Political manipulation of Islam has wreaked havoc.'

Morocco is largely free from the kind of political movements that agitate under the banner of resurgent Islam elsewhere in the region. In addition, with the exception of a few horrific human rights abuses, Morocco is a relatively free place to live, compared with its neighbours. Opposition is minimal - and carefully monitored.

King Hassan says in the interview that he has proposed to a senior official of the Iranian Foreign Ministry that a Sunni-Shia dialogue be initiated to discuss a reconciliation between the existing regimes in the Arab world and Islamic movements.

Differences between Sunnis and Shias are exaggerated, he says: 'All Muslims commit themselves to jihad (holy struggle) and it is false to suggest that we Sunnis are passive.'

He says the West does not fully understand the Islamic impulse. And he says Western European states would have served their own interests if they had not taken such a hostile view of their resident Muslim communities.

'Had these nations managed to accommodate Muslim communities, they would have reaped great benefits, notably in combating moral decadence, narcotics, killings, and other social evils. A disciplined Muslim may serve as a moral vaccine against juvenile delinquency.'

(Photograph omitted)

Suggested Topics
News
news
Life and Style
Popular plonk: Lambrusco is selling strong
Food and drinkNaff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
Voices
A Siberian Tiger
voices
News
Gardai wait for the naked man, who had gone for a skinny dip in Belfast Lough
newsTwo skinny dippers threatened with inclusion on sex offenders’ register as naturists criminalised
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Property Finance Partner

Very Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: LONDON - BANKING / PROPERTY FINANCE - ...

Agile Tester

£28000 - £30000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: An ambitious...

Senior SAP MM Consultant, £50,000 - £60,000, Birmingham

£50000 - £60000 per annum + Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: Senior SAP MM C...

SAP BW BO

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: SAP BW BO - 6 MONTHS - LONDON London (Gr...

Day In a Page

A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried