Fes — HM King Mohammed VI sent a message to participants in the inauguration ceremony of renovated synagogue "Slat Alfassiyine" in Fes.
Here follows the full text of the message read out on Wednesday by Prime Minister, Abdelilah Benkirane:
"Praise be to God May peace and blessings be upon the Prophet, His Kith and Kin
Distinguished Ministers, Ambassadors and Representatives of foreign countries,
Honorable Rabbis and Representatives of the Moroccan Jewish community,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It gives me great pleasure to welcome the distinguished participants in this celebration held on the occasion of the opening of Slat al Fassiyin Synagogue, following its restoration. My patronage of this event attests to the importance I attach to the preservation of the spiritual and cultural heritage of the Jewish community - a community which was at all times held in high esteem by my venerable ancestors.
I wish to take this opportunity to commend this praiseworthy initiative, which was undertaken by the Foundation of Jewish-Moroccan Cultural Heritage. I would also like to praise the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany and the prominent figures and institutions whose concerted efforts contributed to the restoration and renovation of this historical monument which dates back to the seventeenth century. This synagogue is testimony to the richness and diversity of the Kingdom of Morocco's spiritual heritage. Blending harmoniously with the other components of our identity, the Jewish legacy, with its rituals and specific features, has been an intrinsic part of our country's heritage for more than three thousand years.
As is enshrined in the Kingdom's new Constitution, the Hebrew heritage is indeed one of the time-honored components of our national identity. For this reason, I wish to call for the restoration of all the synagogues in the other Moroccan cities so that they may serve not only as places of worship, but also as forums for cultural dialogue and for the promotion of our cultural values.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The Moroccan people's cultural traditions, which are steeped in history, are rooted in our citizens' abiding commitment to the principles of coexistence, tolerance and concord between the various components of the nation, under the wise leadership of the Kings of the glorious Alaouite Dynasty and in keeping with the sacred mission with which the Almighty has entrusted me.
As Commander of the Faithful, I am committed to defending the faith and the community of believers, and to fulfilling my mission with respect to upholding freedom of religion for all believers in the revealed religions, including Judaism, whose followers are loyal citizens for whom I deeply care. I want to assure you that I shall continue to look after you and seek to defend the above ideals and principles.
I reiterate my deep care and consideration for your Jewish community and pray that Almighty God grant you success in your endeavors to serve the well-being of the nation.
Wassalamu alaikum warahmatullah wabarakatuh."