“The Marrakech Declaration on the Rights of Religious Minorities in the Muslim World”

“The Marrakech Declaration on the Rights of Religious Minorities in the Muslim World”In the Name of God, the Merciful and Compassionate,

Given what the various parts of the world have witnessed through violence and armed conflict, to settle armed disputes, and to impose views and choices,

And given that these conditions have led to the weakening of central authority in some regions, and to the rise of virulent criminal organizations, which have no scholarly or political legitimacy, which gave themselves the right to issue rulings which they attribute to Islam, the implementation of which these organizations have stripped of their contexts and goals, whose practices have harmed various segments of society,  

 And considering the sufferings of religious minorities, due to these conditions, in terms of murder, enslavement, exile, intimidation, and humiliation of religious minorities, which have lived for centuries among Muslims in an atmosphere of tolerance,  mutual recognition and fraternity, and whose details are recorded by history and affirmed by the objective historians of all nations and cultures,

And given that these crimes are committed in the name of Islam and its Sacred Law, which is a calumny against God (J) and the Prophet of Mercy (s), and a betrayal of the faith of over one billion people, whose religion and reputation have been exposed to slander and distortion, thus becoming objects of hatred, rejection, and disgust, although they themselves have suffered from these same crimes,

And upholding the responsibility which God has laid upon the religious scholars, especially in this crucial period of the history of the Islamic nation, and reviving its infallible spirit and protecting its honor, and being intent on achieving peace for humanity, and asking people to fulfill their obligations, and recovering the true image of our True Religion, and advising and admonishing the entire nation against the consequences of these crimes, clad in a religious guise, against its unity, stability and interests in the present and future,

And commemorating 1400 (solar) years of the proclamation of the Charter of Medina, and in Marrakech in the Sherrifian Kingdom of Morocco, and under the auspices of His Majesty, King Mohammed VI of Morocco – this country, which was and remains an inspiring model of protecting religious minorities and a caretaker of historical heritage, rich in tolerance, coexistence, and blending between Muslims and others, who belong to the same country, and those who have migrated to it, fearful of religious oppression or social injustice –

And co-organized by the Ministry of Endowments and Islamic Affairs in the Kingdom of Morocco, and the Forum for Reinforcing Peace between Muslim Societies (UAE) on 14 - 17 RabÎ’ al-Thani 1437 (AH) and 25th – 27th January, 2016 (CE).


Around 300 Muslim scholars and thinkers from various jurisprudential schools and orientations, from more than 120 countries, with the presence of their brothers and sisters representing the religions concerned with this issue, from the Muslim world and elsewhere, and representatives of Islamic and international organizations, believing in the noble mission and the seriousness of the issue,

And following much discussion, the Muslim scholars and thinkers who are taking part in this conference, supported by their brothers and sisters from other faiths, declare the following:

“The Marrakech Declaration on the Rights of Religious Minorities in the Muslim World”

FIRST: On Remembering the Fundamental Principles and General Values which Islam has brought:

1.   All people, regardless of their race, color, language, and beliefs, have been honored by God (A) through the breathing of His Spirit in Adam (p). “We have honored the sons of Adam; provided them with transport on land and sea;” (Al-Isra': 70).

2.   Honoring humanity requires giving it freedom of choice with regard to thought and belief.  Therefore, it is not permitted to deprive someone of this right, whether mentally or legally. “Let there be no compulsion in religion. Truth stands out clear from error;” (Al Baqarah: 256), “If it had been the Lord's Will, they would all have believed - all who are on earth!Wilt thou then compel mankind, against their will, to believe!” (Yunus: 99).

3.   People, regardless of their natural, social, and intellectual differences, are brothers and sisters in humanity. “O mankind!We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other (not that ye may despise each other).” (Al Hujurat :13)

4.   God (A) built the heavens and the Earth on justice, and He makes justice the criteria for interactions between all people to prevent hatred and envy, and encouraged people to be kind to each other, to promote love and goodwill. “Allah commands   justice, the doing of good, and liberality to kith and kin” (Al-Nahl: 90).

5.   Peace is the epitome of Islam, and the highest goal of Sacred Law in any community. “O ye who believe! Enter into Islam whole-heartedly;” (Al Baqarah: 208), “But if the enemy incline towards peace, do thou (also) incline towards peace,and trust in Allah” (Al-Anfal: 61).

6.   God (A) sent Mohammed (p) to be a mercy to all humanity. “We sent thee not, but as a mercy for all creatures.” (Al Anbiya':107).

7.   Our true religion calls us to acknowledge others, and to put them before us ourselves, without discrimination regarding status and belief. “Allah forbids you not, with regard to those who fight you not for (your) Faith nor drive you out of your homes,from dealing kindly and justly with them: for Allah loveth those who are just” (Al Mumtahinah:08).

8.   Islamic law insists on honoring contracts, pledges, and agreements, which guarantee peace and coexistence between people. “O ye who believe!fulfill (all) obligations”(AlMa'ida:01), “Fulfill the Covenant of Allah when ye have entered into it” (Al-Nahl :91). “Any alliance in the pre-Islamic period, Islam strengthened it” (Sound Hadith).

SECONDLY: On considering the Charter of Medina, the best framework which guarantees the rights of religious minorities in the Muslim world:

1.   The Charter of Medina, which Muhammed (p) wrote to be the constitution of a multi-racial and multi-faith society, is an embodiment of the fundamental values of the Quran and prominent Islamic values.

2.   This document is acknowledged by the most prominent scholars of the Islamic nation.

3.   The Charter of Medina, unlike anything prior or subsequent to it in Islamic and human history, springs from the following:

a.    Its universal view of humanity as being an honored entity (“global citizens”), and it does not mention  majorityand minority members, but points to various components of one nation - that is, citizens.

b.    Its not being the result of war or conflict, but rather the result of a contract between communities living together peacefully.

c.    This document does not contradict any texts of Sacred Law, and is not plagiarized, because its content embodies the lofty goals of Sacred Law, and the prominent values of the religion. Each article upholds either mercy, wisdom, justice, or the public good.

d.   In this contemporary cultural context, the Charter of Medina is best suited to facilitate Muslim progress, as it is the original model for citizenship.  It is a form of contractual citizenship, and a just constitution for a united multi-racial, multi-faith, and multi-language society, in which its members enjoy the same rights, and have the same obligations, and belong to one nation, regardless of their differences.

e.      Taking this document in our time as a reference should not imply that other systems were unfair in the contexts of those times.

f.      The articles of the Charter of Medina include many  principles of contractual citizenship, such as: freedom of religion, freedom of movement, of property, the principle of general solidarity, the principle of mutual defense, and the principle of justice and equality before the law (“The Bani Alf Jews are a single nation with the Believers; Jews have their religion, and the Muslims have their own religion, and their patrons, except those who wrong others, or sin – they will only bring destruction upon themselves”); (“And the Jews shall pay their expenses, and Muslims shall pay their expenses, and they will share victory against any who declare war against the people of this Charter.  There will be mutual advice between them, without sinning, and no person will commit sin against his ally, and victory is for the wronged”).

g.   The goals of the Charter of Medina is a suitable framework for national constitutions in the Muslim majority countries, and is compatible with the United Nations charter and its annexes, such as a declaration of human rights, while taking into consideration the public order.   

THIRDLY, on the correction of concepts and clarification of the methodological basisof the Sacred Law on Minority Rights.

1.   The Sacred Law’s position on this subject, as is the case elsewhere, is attributed to a set of methodological bases, the ignorance of which can cause confusion, ambiguity, and distortion of truths.  Among these truths are:

a.    Considering the fundamental values of Sacred Law, such as wisdom, mercy, justice, the public good, and using the general opinion which binds Sacred Legal texts together, and does not overlook those texts dealing with details that make up the whole.

b.    Considering the context in which detailed decrees are issued, and considering the contemporary context and observing the differences and similarities which exist between them, to adopt the issuing of the judgments and putting each of them in the right place, so that the concepts do not become their opposites, and so that their goals are not confused.

c.    Considering the connection between the discourse on obligations and the discourse of implementation, that is, seeing that the laws of responsibility and rules are associated with the practical and human environment, with a view to exercising responsibilities.  For this reason, the Muslim scholars established the decree of “rules can reconsidered in light of the times”.

d.   Considering the connection between commands and prohibitions, and the system of interests and harmful acts: because any command and prohibition in Sacred Law is meant to bring about good, or to avoid harm.

e.     Some of the jurisprudential interpretations on the relationship with religious minorities were influenced by historical practices, in a real context differing from the present reality, whose most prominent features are war and conflict.

f.      “The more We ponder the various crises threatening humanity, the more firmly We believe that interfaith cooperation is necessary, inevitable and urgent. This cooperation between believers for the development of a common fundamental platform is not to be restricted to tolerance and respect only; it should also involve a commitment to the rights and freedoms that should be enshrined in – and enforced by – each country’s legislation. It is not enough to lay down laws and codes of conduct. We need to adopt a civilized code of behavior that bans all forms of coercion, fanaticism and arrogance.”

ON THE BASIS OF THE AFOREGONE: the conferenciers call on:

1.    Muslim Scholars and Thinkers to participate in establishing the concept of citizenship, which encompasses various affiliations, through proper understanding and sound assessment of jurisprudential heritage and historical practices and accommodation of changes that have taken place in the world.

2.   Institutions of Higher Learning and Religious Authorities to launch bold and responsible revisions of educational programs in order to stand against this cultural crisis, which breeds extremism and enmity, fans the flames of conflict, and tears at the fabric of society.

3.   Politicians and Decision Makers, to take the necessary constitutional, political, and legal measures, in order to establish contractual citizenship, and to reinforce initiatives intended to consolidate mutual understanding and coexistence between religious sects in the Muslim world.

4.   The Intellectuals and Artists, and Organizations of Civil Society, to establish a major social movement to ensure the just treatment of religious minorities in Muslim societies, and to raise awareness of their rights, and to create an intellectual, cultural, educational, media-rich environment that protects this movement.

5.   The Diverse Religious Sects, within one country, to remedy the trauma in memory, brought mutually by selective incidents, which causes people to forget centuries of coexistence on one land; and to rebuild the past through reviving a common heritage,        and to build the bridges of trust without resorting to excommunication and violence.

6.   Representatives of the Various Religions, Sects, and Faiths, to reject all forms of mockery of religions, and the desecration of things sacred, and hate speech leading to racism and discrimination.

IN CONCLUSION: the conferenciers affirm that “religion must not be manipulated to justify any infringement or denial of the rights of religious minorities in Islamic countries.”

Praise be to God, by Whose grace good deeds are achieved.

Drafted it the city of Marrakech, in the Kingdom of Morocco on 16 Rabi Al Thani 1436 AH, that is, 27 January 2016.


Voir aussi

L'Union des Mosquées de France salue la déclaration de Marrakech sur les droits des minorités religieuses

Framing Remarks by H.E. Dr. Ahmed Toufiq, Minister of Endowments and Islamic Affairs

Moments forts de la rencontre de Marrakech sur les Droits des Minorités religieuses dans les pays musulmans

Déclaration de Marrakech sur les Droits des Minorités Religieuses dans le Monde Islamique »

SM le Roi Mohammed VI adresse un message aux participants au Congrès sur “Les droits des minorités religieuses en terre d’Islam

Mr. Ahmed Toufiq: Mot de cadrage, Rencontre de Marrakech « Les Droits des Minorités Religieuses dans les Pays à prédominance musulmane : Le Cadre Légal et l’Appel à l’action »

Full Text of HM the King’s Message to Conference on ‘Rights of Religious Minorities in Islamic Lands’

Rencontre de Marrakech:Programme de la rencontre "Les Droits des Minorités Religieuses dans les Pays à prédominance musulmane:Le Cadre Légal et l’Appel à l’action"

Rencontre de Marrakech: « Les Droits des Minorités Religieuses dans les Pays musulmans : Le Cadre Légal et l’Appel à l’action »

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