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Morocco: Morocco to restore synagogues in Casablanca
With the announcement that Casablanca will restore its medina and synagogues, Morocco has given another significant message for dialogue and peaceful coexistence among different religions.

Morocco to restore synagogues in Casablanca
Star of David, Essaouira [Credit: University of New England]

Morocco is home to a sizable and centuries-old Jewish community, which over time has had significant in every field, without religion being an obstacle.

The Kingdom of Morocco, therefore, has a long tradition of tolerance, even when anti-Israel sentiments in near-by countries have resulted in senseless acts of violence, like the April 2002 bombing of a synagogue in Djerba, Tunisia, before confirmation of jihad and al Qaida penetration in the then apparently calm North African countries.

Morocco, thanks to Hassan II and his son Mohammed VI, has always managed to escape, as evidenced by the numerous places of Israeli worship that is protected and even looked after by the Kingdom, which has also paid a heavy price to Islamist-motivated terrorism. The country does not want tensions related to religion to occur.

Morocco to restore synagogues in Casablanca
Temple Beth El synagogue in Casablanca, Morocco
[Credit: David Lisbona.Flickr]

Attesting to this is the Passover festival, held in complete safety for thousands of Jews (who come not only from Israel, but also by European countries, United States and Canada), to celebrate the Hiloula, participate in the pilgrimage to Asjen, and visit the grave of Rabbi Amram Ben Diwan and the synagogue that was dedicated to him.

And the same happens in Moualine, with the annual pilgrimage the mausoleum of Rabbi Abraham Aouriouer, whose figure is still today respected even by non-Jews, so that the celebration is attended by the highest civil authorities and politicians of the region.

The inclusion of the synagogues in the medina restoration is a strong sign that Morocco wants to make itself even more visible with initiatives that elsewhere would cause alarm, but that in Morocco is simply the continuation of a decades-long tolerance policy.

In Casablanca, as reported by La Vie Economique, a tender was launched for restoration of the Medina as well as the restoration of the Ettedgu synagogue, including its garden and surrounding area.

Also to benefit from the restoration are many other places of Israeli worship, including Benarrosh, Beth Elohim and David Hamelekh synagogues popular for the faithful, as well as tourists interested in history and art.

Source: ANSAmed [March 12, 2015]

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Morocco: Morocco to restore synagogues in Casablanca + TIME