25th – 27th January, 2016
A global coalition of leading Imams and Scholars from across the Muslim world came together in Marrakesh, Morocco from the 25th – 27th January 2016 in an historic event that encompassed a robust discussion over legal frameworks and the commitment for a call to action around the premise of ‘The Rights of Minorities in Predominately Muslim Lands‘.
Hosted by Shaykh Abdallah Bin Bayyah, President of the Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies and King Mohammed VI of Morocco, this convening of global religious leaders was timely considering the increased persecution of religious minorities we are witnessing by the likes of Dae’sh in Iraq and Syria.
The key purpose of the conference was to reaffirm the Constitution of Madinah, a binding contracted enacted by the Prophet Muhammad (saw) when he established the first Islamic state in 622 C.E, that explicitly outlines the protection of religious minorities, be they Abrahamic or otherwise, living within a Muslim majority context.
With the atrocities being committed against religious minorities by extremists and being justified through religion, Shaykh Abdallah felt it necessary to bring together leading Islamic thinkers, scholars, writers, Imams and activists in order to critically assess and concisely deconstruct extremist discourse as well as reiterate the notion that the protection of human life and religious minorities has always been fundamental to the Islamic tradition.
Invitation to the conference was also extended to senior religious leaders of the Christian and Jewish faiths as well as representatives of the Yazidis as a way of reemphasizing the need for Muslims, in particular Islamic religious leaders, to redouble their efforts in protecting the lives and welfare of those under their responsibility.
Some of the leading religious Imams and Scholars that attended the conference included Shaykh Hamza Yusuf, Imam Mohammed Magid, Shaykh Usama Canon and the Grand Muftis of numerous Muslim countries.
Ultimately, this conference was convened with the aim of reviving the objectives and aims of the Madinah Constitution, taking into account global and international treaties and utilizing enlightening, innovative case studies that are good examples of working towards pluralism.