Morocco King Sends Message on 5th Anniversary of Death of Imad Ibn Ziaten, Victim of Terrorist Act

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HM the King Sends Message on 5th Anniversary of Death of Imad Ibn Ziaten, Victim of Terrorist Act

HM King Mohammed VI sent a message, read out by HM the King’s advisor Omar Azziman, on the occasion of the commemoration, on Saturday in M’Diq, of the 5th anniversary of the death of Imad Ibn Ziaten, victim of a terrorist act perpetrated in 2012 in Toulouse.

Here follows the full text of the message:

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Today, I wanted to commemorate with you the fifth anniversary of the murder of the late Imad Ben Ziaten, victim of a despicable terrorist act, in order to show my solicitude and consideration for Moroccans living abroad, whether in sad or happy times.

It is an anniversary full of mixed feelings of pain and hope, due to the complex significance of the event.

Pain comes from a mother’s, a family’s, memory of the loss of a son at a young age. Today, as we did in the past, we share their sadness over the assassination of an innocent human being, fulfilling his national and professional duty.

Hope comes from the unanimous rejection of terrorism and the positive initiatives created after this event, particularly the action undertaken by his mother, Mrs Latifa Ben Ziaten, through the association she has set up with a view to promoting the culture of peace, tolerance and living together.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

We feel a mother’s sorrow at the loss of her son and we realize the place he has in her heart. At the same time, we appreciate her wise and reasonable reaction after this tragic event.

Instead of giving in to feelings of despair and surrendering to anger and hatred, she has proved that she is a living example of patience and tolerance.

She has also shown her capacity to transform, with determination and clear-sightedness, pain into hope, hatred into love and death into a catalyst for life.

Thanks to her strong will and outstanding clear-headedness, she has managed to send out a message of hope and peace and tell advocates of terrorism that they cannot beat her, nor undermine her commitment to the values of living together.

I commend her pride in being Moroccan and her commitment to her country’s sacred values, as she chose to have her lost son buried in the land of his ancestors.

I also admire her integration into French society, as a responsible citizen who respects French values and laws.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am aware of the suffering endured by Muslims in general and Moroccans in particular in Western countries, due to the unjust and inacceptable confusion between Islam and terrorism peddled by some, either out of ignorance or deliberately and for evil purposes.

The best way to counter such extremist ideas, while at the same time defending the tolerance of Islam and its innocence against unfair and hostile accusations, is to remain committed to its lofty values, as well as to authentic Moroccan traditions, which advocate love, fraternity and coexistence between peoples and religions.

In my address on 20 August last year, I pointed out that Islam had nothing to do with terrorism and that those who engaged in terrorism were not Muslims. Their only link to Islam is the pretexts they use to justify their folly.

We reject the distortion of the Islamic faith and invite all people of conscience, as well as lovers of peace, life and tolerance to rise up against the dissemination of fanaticism and obscurantism and counter advocates of terrorism, violence and excommunication.

In this context, we are looking forward to seeing civil society actors play their role in raising awareness among young people and informing them of the dangers of fanaticism and reclusion. They must counter the campaign staged by terrorists and by those using terrorist acts to point fingers at Islam and Muslims and aimed at distorting the image of the Islamic faith.

Finally, I would like to say how much I value the praiseworthy efforts made by Mrs Latifa Ben Ziaten and her association, along with all organizations concerned, as well as their constructive initiatives in terms of the education and awareness-raising of young people about the values of tolerance, openness and acceptance of others.

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