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2019 April 03

Dr Mustapha Benhamza: Ignorance in religion is the biggest cause of extremism and hatred

His Eminence Dr Mustapha Benhamza, President of the Ulema Council of Oujda and member of the Muslim Council of Elders has commended the historic meeting between His Majesty the King of Morocco, Mohammed VI and His Holiness Pope Francis, Pontiff of the Catholic Church, which led to the signing of the ‘Jerusalem Declaration’ which aims to preserve the holy city as "common patrimony of humanity and especially the followers of the three monotheistic religions".

Dr Benhamza said, “This occasion was a great reminder that ignorance in religion is the biggest cause of extremism and hatred and that the solution lies in improving education and its institutions.”

His Eminence added, “The signing of the ‘Jerusalem Declaration’ by His Majesty King Mohammed VI of Morocco and His Holiness Pope Francis reaffirms that all the major religions agree on the shared rights for the residents of Jerusalem, especially those related to freedom of worship.”

The Pope’s visit to Morocco is the third occasion he has visited an Arab country during his tenure as Pope. He previously visited Egypt and the United Arab Emirates where he signed the ‘Human Fraternity Document’ during the latter visit alongside His Eminence Dr Ahmed El Tayeb, the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar and Chairman of the Muslim Council of Elders.”

About the Council:

The Muslim Council of Elders is an independent international organisation which promotes peace in Muslim communities by discouraging conflict and other issues that lead to divisiveness. The Council manages its own affairs and states its viewpoints on issues it tackles without the supervision of any government or organisation. The Council is comprised of various Muslim scholars who are known for their wisdom, justice, independence and moderateness. It strives to represent all the forms of Muslim communities and encourages reconciliation to prevent foreign intervention, divisiveness and conflict.