Nezha El Ouafi, a member of the Islamist party PJD (The Justice and Development Party), spoke about the history of Judaism in the country, as well as its outstanding position during the Second World War.
Nezha El Ouafi, Moroccan minister delegated to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in charge of Moroccans residing abroad, called last Saturday, at the opening of the winter university in Ifrane, for “the institutionalization of the Jewish religion in Morocco,” reported the news site article19.ma.
She also discussed to the history of Judaism in Morocco, as well as the country’s position during World War II. The Jews of Morocco had not been affected by the Holocaust at that time. Sultan Mohammed Ben Youssef, then King Mohammed V, had refused to allow the anti-Jewish laws of the Vichy regime to be applied to Moroccan Jewish people, even though Morocco was under a French protectorate.
The Minister added that “over time, Moroccan society has developed a strong sense of understanding and acceptance of the other and has shown an unshakable will to preserve the common memory of the followers of the Three Religions and, in particular, to preserve the spirit of coexistence and harmony that prevailed during the Andalusian period”.
Nezha El Ouafi is a member of the Justice and Development Party, the first Moroccan political party. It is located on the right side of the political spectrum and is of Islamist ideology. The PJD has 125 seats (out of 395) in the House of Representatives (lower house of Parliament), and 12 councilors (out of 120) in the House of Councilors (upper house of Parliament).
In addition to her post as the person in charge of Moroccans living abroad, Nezha El Ouafi is also Secretary of State for Sustainable Development.
The Moroccan Jewish community remains the largest in the Arab-Muslim world. The country is home to the only museum of Hebrew art and history in the region, founded in 1998 in Casablanca. Israeli tourists who come in the footsteps of their ancestors are welcome.
Morocco has an even more special position since the preamble to its constitution refers to its “Hebrew tributary”, Moroccan Jews have held various ministerial posts, including André Azoulay, adviser of HM the king Mohamed VI.
It is under the royal impulse that in recent years, many programs have been carried out to renovate Jewish cemeteries and the urban districts where this community lived in the past, which numbered 200,000 to 300,000 members before the waves of departures linked to the creation of the Jewish State in 1948 and then to the country’s independence in 1956.