In an address directed toward Moroccans living abroad, Mohammed VI, the King of Morocco, said that they should "always be among the first to defend peace, harmony, and coexistence in their countries of residence." Calling the killing of a priest in his church "unforgivable," Mohammed VI said that the Jihadists are "led by ignorance" and are "destined to dwell in Hell for all eternity." "Can anyone of sound mind believe that the reward for Jihad could be some virgins in Paradise?" he asked in the address, which was broadcast by Morocco's Channel 1 on August 20.
King Mohammed VI: "My dear countrymen, the whole world is talking about the problem of immigration, and about the human tragedies suffered by the immigrants. This situation is exacerbated by the spread of terror and extremism, and the attempts to link it - rightly or not - to the immigrants, especially in Europe. In this context, I call upon the Moroccans living abroad to adhere to the values of their religion and to their age-old customs, in confronting this phenomenon, which is alien to them. I also encourage them to protect the good reputation for which they are known, to persevere in these difficult circumstances, and to unite in their ranks. I call upon them to be always among the first to defend peace, harmony, and coexistence in their countries of residence.
"We understand the difficult situation in which they live. They are suffering from the distortion of the image of Islam, as well as from the terrorist attacks, which have harvested the lives of so many of them. They suffer from reprisals, and from accusations leveled against them by some, because of their faith. Naturally, we strongly condemn the killing of innocent people. We believe that the killing of a monk is prohibited by the shari'a, and that killing him in a church is an unforgivable act of stupidity, because he is a human being and a cleric, even if he is not a Muslim. Islam has instructed us to be good to the People of the Book. Allah said: 'We make no distinction between any of His messengers.' Allah said: '...one who believes in Allah, Judgement Day, the angels, the Quran, and the prophets.'
"The terrorists who operate in the name of Islam are not Muslims. They have nothing to do with Islam, and jump on the bandwagon in order to justify their crimes and stupid acts. They are people who have been led astray, and they are destined to dwell in Hell for all eternity. Led by their ignorance, they believe that what they do constitutes Jihad. When was Jihad ever about the killing of innocent people? Allah said: '...do not transgress. Allah does not love the transgressors.' Is it conceivable that Allah, the Forgiver, the Compassionate, would order a person to blow himself up or to kill innocent people?! It should be noted that Islam prohibits suicide of any kind, regardless of the reasons. Allah said: '...whoever kills a soul unless for a soul or for corruption upon the land - it is as if he had killed all of Mankind.'
"Islam is a religion of peace. Allah said: 'Oh you who believe, enter Islam one and all.' Jihad in Islam is subject to specific conditions, including the condition that it must not be waged unless for the purpose of defense, and may never be waged for the purpose of killing or aggression. It is prohibited to kill people under the pretext of waging Jihad. Another condition of Jihad is that it must be declared by the Emir of the Believers - not by any individual or group. People who call for killing and aggression, who unjustly accuse people of heresy, and who interpret the Quran and the Sunna in a manner befitting their goals are attributing lies to Allah and His Messenger. This is the true heresy.
"They are exploiting some Muslim youth, especially in Europe. They are exploiting their ignorance of the Arabic language and of true Islam, in order to convey their erroneous messages and misleading promises. Can anyone of sound mind believe that the reward for Jihad could be some virgins in Paradise? Is it conceivable that anyone who listens to music will be swallowed by the Earth? And there are similar lies. The terrorists and extremists are using all possible means to persuade the youth to join them, and to strike at societies that bask in the values of liberty, openness, and tolerance.
"We are all being targeted. Anyone who believes in what I have said serves as a target for terrorism. Terrorism struck in Morocco in the past, and then it hits in Europe and many regions in the world. Given the spread of ignorance in the name of religion, everybody - Muslims, Christians, and Jews - must stand together in the fight against all types of extremism, against hatred, and against close-mindedness. The history of humanity is the best proof that it is impossible to achieve progress in any society suffering from extremism and hatred, because these are the main causes for the loss of security and stability. Human history abounds with successful examples, showing that cooperation and coexistence between religions give rise to open and modern societies, ruled by love, harmony, comfort, and prosperity. This was embodied in the Islamic culture, especially in Baghdad and Andalusia, which was one of the most progressive and open human societies."