U.S. joins Moroccan conference on protecting minorities in Muslim lands

WASHINGTON (JTA) — The United States is participating in a Moroccan government conference on protecting minorities, including Jews,  in Muslim lands.

Arsalan Suleman, the State Department’s envoy to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, and Knox Thames, its advisor for religious minorities in the Middle East, will attend the Jan. 25-28 conference in Marrakesh, the State Department said on Jan. 21. Thames will meet with the country’s Jewish community leaders during the visit.

A declaration by the Moroccan government and the Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies, an Abu Dhabi-based group co-sponsoring the conference, calls the recent atrocities against religious minorities carried out by Muslim extremists “a slander against God” and a “betrayal of the faith.”

“Such conditions obligate the Muslim majority to protect the minorities, their religions, their places of worship, and other rights,” the declaration said.

Morocco’s moderate Muslim kingdom is known for the protection it affords its Jewish community.

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