King Mohammed VI, leader of Morocco, made the following remarks Saturday as part of a longer speech on the occasion of the 63rd anniversary of the Revolution of the King and the People:
Our community abroad also suffers from the backlash of terrorist activities and from accusations levelled against them, by some, because of their faith. Naturally, I strongly condemn the killing of innocent people. Killing a priest is forbidden by religion; murdering him inside a church is unforgivable madness, for he is a human being and a religious man – even if he is not a Muslim. Islam commands us to take good care of the people of the Book. The Almighty says: “We make no distinction between one and another of His apostles”. He also said: “But it is righteousness to believe in Allah and the Last Day, and the Angels, and the Book, and the Messengers.” Those who engage in terrorism, in the name of Islam, are not Muslims. Their only link to Islam is the pretexts they use to justify their crimes and their folly. They have strayed from the right path, and their fate is to dwell forever in hell. They think – out of ignorance – that they are engaging in jihad. Since when has jihad been synonymous with killing innocent people? The Almighty says: “Do not transgress limits, for Allah loves not transgressors”. Is it conceivable that God – the Most Merciful, the Most Compassionate – could order someone to blow himself up or kill innocent people? Islam, as a matter of fact, does not permit any kind of suicide – whatever the reasons or circumstances. The Almighty says: “if any one slew a person – unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land – it would be as if he slew the whole people”. Islam is the religion of peace. Almighty God says: “O you who believe! Enter into peace whole-heartedly”. As for jihad in Islam, it is governed by specific conditions, including the fact that it is to be resorted to only for defense purposes – not for murder or aggression. It is forbidden to kill people under the pretext of jihad. Also, to be valid, jihad would have to be called for by the Commandership of the Faithful – and not by an individual or group of people. Those who call for murder and aggression, those who excommunicate people without a legitimate reason, those who interpret the Quran and the Sunnah to suit their purposes, are actually lying to Allah and His Messenger. That, in fact, is the real blasphemy, for the Almighty says: “Who, then, does more wrong than one who utters a lie concerning Allah, and rejects the Truth when it comes to him; is there not in Hell an abode for blasphemers?”. My ancestor, Prophet Muhammad – may peace and blessings be upon him – said: “Whoever tells lies about me deliberately, let him take his place in Hell”. Terrorists take advantage of some young Muslims – particularly in Europe – and of their ignorance of the Arabic language and of true Islam, to spread their distorted messages and misleading promises. How could anyone of sound mind believe that the reward for jihad is a number of virgins ? How could one possibly accept that anyone who listens to music will be swallowed by the depths of the earth, and other such lies? Terrorists and extremists use all means to convince young people to join them in order to attack societies profoundly committed to the ideals of freedom, openness and tolerance. Moreover, several Muslim groups and societies perceive themselves as authorities on Islam, arguing that they represent true Islam – which implies others do not. In reality, however, they could not be further from Islam and its tolerant values. Such attitudes encourage the spread of the extremist ideology, of excommunication and terrorism, for terror advocates believe that this is the path to true Islam. These people need to take a hard look at themselves and decide to what extent they are responsible for the crimes and human tragedies perpetrated in the name of Islam. All of us are targets.