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UN Spreads Moroccan Law Banning Preachers Not Gov-Trained, US Cheers

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, September 30 -- Morocco was celebrated in the September 30 session of UN Security Council's Counter-Terrorism Committee, at which the United States spoke, and positively. But is the UN promoting laws that violate the US Constitution?

Here's what the UN itself published on September 30:

“Morocco has developed a strategy to prevent the abuse of religion to justify and incite terrorist violence and is now sharing it with the world. An institute has been established in the Kingdom where religious teachers undergo mandatory training before they start preaching in public. Jean-Paul Laborde, Executive Director of the Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate (CTED) and Assistant Secretary-General hailed the dissemination of these teachings also called the 'Moroccan Experience.'”

Inner City Press went to the UN Security Council stakeout and asked Morocco's speaker, and a person beside him who seemed to be an interpreter, if this doesn't violate the US Constitution's freedom of religion clause -- how can exercise of religion be so controlled by a government? How could the UN be propagating this model, with the US cheering it on?

The Moroccan speaker gave a long answer in Arabic, which was then not translated. Inner City Press has submitted to the Moroccan Mission to the UN this question-cluster, in English: is it

“true that in Morocco a person cannot preach before mandatory training before they start preaching in public, and if so, how this relates to provisions like those in the US Constitution saying that the free exercise of religion cannot be controlled or impacted by government? Also, whether new laws against foreign fighters, traveling for terrorism, can be abused given the terrorism is not defined and some countries may use their laws against dissidents and political opponents?”

  And the answer, as subsequently provided by the Moroccan Mission, translated from what Morocco's minister said:

“Fundamentally, Islam does not believe in compulsion in religion, nor in forcing any one to believe in the religion, and guarantees to all people their freedom of religion.

“The historical circumstances criss-crossed by these countries in dealing with a lot of developments, in dealing with contemporary life and with the human rights system in general, make them progress towards further harmonization of laws with their requisites, and with life conditions and culture.

“Morocco cannot discuss freedom of religion because this question is deeply rooted in the Islamic religion. However, and as it is also stipulated in the United Nations laws,there are some elements that should adapt to the culture of each country.”

   As to how the US could support the UN's propagation and promotion of a law that is entirely counter to the US Constitution, that remains to be answered. Watch this site.


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