Hassan attacks 'plague' of fanaticism
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.'
- 1 Kermit the Frog has a new girlfriend named Denise
- 2 The excuses your boss is most likely to believe when you call in sick
- 3 Moscow voted the world's unfriendliest city
- 4 I'm pansexual – here are the five biggest misconceptions about my sexuality
- 5 More than 11,000 Icelanders offer to house Syrian refugees to help European crisis
The one chart that shows how George Osborne is almost certainly going to be our next Prime Minister
The excuses your boss is most likely to believe when you call in sick
Three-year-old ultra-Orthodox Jewish children told 'the non-Jews' are 'evil' in worksheet produced by London school
Bono's group has made more money from Facebook investment than from all his music
Wikipedia rocked by 'rogue editors' blackmail scam targeting small businesses and celebrities
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
Tony Blair attacks Jeremy Corbyn's 'Alice In Wonderland' politics
Theresa May says migrants should be banned from entering the UK unless they have jobs lined up
Iain Duncan Smith 'should resign over disability benefit death figures', says Jeremy Corbyn
If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
£22000 - £38000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The role is a mixture of office...
£17100 - £20900 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the North West's leading...
£19000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...
£15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join ...