Marrakesh DeclarationIn recent years, several predominantly Muslim countries have witnessed brutal atrocities inflicted upon longstanding religious minorities. These minorities have been victims of murder, enslavement, forced exile, intimidation, starvation, and other affronts to their basic human dignity. Such heinous actions have absolutely no relation whatsoever to the noble religion of Islam, regardless of the claims of the perpetrators who have used Islam’s name to justify their actions: any such aggression is a slander against God and His Messenger of Mercy s as well as a betrayal of the faith of over one billion Muslims.
At the same time, in these lands where the government’s central authority is weak, fading, or failing, the Muslim majority, in reality, is often no better off than the religious minorities. In countries where the Muslims are a majority and the authorities are aggressive, such conditions obligate the Muslim majority to protect the minorities, their religions, their places of worship, and other rights.
This situation also demands that Muslim jurists, philosophers, and intellectuals engage in a serious study of the reasons for such egregious departure from normative Islam using a sound and methodical scholarship. This scholarly activity must deconstruct extremist discourse avoiding the typical responses which to date are invariably superficial, generalized, and vague condemnations on the one hand, or limited to the sphere of debates over the particularized legal proofs on the other.