“Freedom of religion is inscribed in the Quran,” says Mohamed Elsanousi, the Washington, D.C., director of the Network for Religious and Traditional Peacemakers. “’We need to get the message out and refute the ideas that Daesh (or the Islamic State) and al-Qaida are spreading.”
Mr. Elsanousi was one of 300 prominent Muslim leaders and scholars who attended a forum to promote peace in Muslim communities this week in Morocco (which was sponsored by Moroccan King Mohammed VI and the United Arab Emirates-based Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies).
According to Mr. Elsanousi, the goal of the religious seminar was to prepare clerics, judges and other Muslim leaders to return home and remind their communities of Prophet Muhammad’s message of peace. After Prophet Muhammad established the first Muslim state, he wrote the Charter of Medina to ensure that his subjects lived in peace and harmony, whether they were Muslims, Jews or people of other religions.
Inspired by the Charter of Medina, participants at the religious seminar called for more tolerance for minorities and unveiled the Marrakesh Declaration, an updated Bill of Rights for religious minorities.
“Enough bloodshed,” says Abdallah bin Bayyah, a scholar based in Saudi Arabia. “There is a sickness right now in the world but we have treatments for it within Islam.”