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MAP - France: Arab World Institute Pres. Calls for Recognition of Late HM Mohammed V as 'Righteous Among the Nations'

Paris - November 24, 2021 - (MAP) -The President of the Arab World Institute (IMA), Jack Lang, has called for the late HM Mohammed V to be recognized as "Righteous Among the Nations" for having protected the Jewish community during the Vichy regime.

"It is time for the late HM Mohammed V to be recognized Righteous Among the Nations," said Lang at the official opening on Monday of the exhibition-event "The Jews of the East, a multi-millennial history" in the presence of French President Emmanuel Macron.

"I hope that one of the strong personalities of the Arab world who has marked his permanent will to respect all religions, that is King Mohammed V, will finally be recognized as Righteous Among the Nations," said Lang in the presence of the French president and several personalities from the world of politics and culture, in addition to representatives of the three monotheistic religions.

"It is known that he protected Moroccan Jews against the Vichy regime [...] Nothing to do with the way in which the Jews of Algeria were tortured, locked up, mistreated, relegated by the repeal of the Crémieux decree," he added.

At the press opening of the exhibition, IMA President told MAP that he will send the authorities of Yad Vashem (the World Holocaust Remembrance Center), a letter requesting that "the Sultan of Morocco Mohammed V be proclaimed Righteous Among the Nations, because of the protection he granted to the Jews of Morocco against the Vichy authorities."

"All historians who have worked on the history of the Jews know to what extent the late HM Mohammed V was the protector of the Jews," insisted Mr. Lang, noting that this is a way to show that "there is today a kind of harmony that is built between the Jewish and Muslim cultures."

Lang was also keen to highlight the particularity of Morocco as a land of inter-religious tolerance, peace, understanding and living together, paying a tribute to "the exceptional action to protect Moroccan Jewish culture undertaken by HM King Mohammed VI".

He cited in particular the consecration of the Hebrew component in the preamble of the Moroccan Constitution, the restoration of Jewish sites in Morocco and the integration of the teaching of Moroccan Judaism in school textbooks.

For his part, Benjamin Stora recalled the presence, in Morocco, of museums dedicated to Hebrew culture and heritage, welcoming the important collaboration of Morocco in the organization of this exhibition through unique works from the Museum of History and Civilization in Rabat.

The exhibition, which will open to the public on Wednesday and run through March 13, 2022, is a continuation of the exhibitions "Hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca" in 2014 and "Christians of the East, 2000 years of history" in 2017, a trilogy devoted to monotheistic religions in the Arab world.

This cultural event of international scope, spread over 1100 square meters, takes an unprecedented look at the multi-millennial history of Jewish communities in the Arab world. From the Mediterranean to the Euphrates and the Arabian Peninsula.

It explores the multiple facets of cohabitation between Jews and Muslims, from the first links forged between the Jewish tribes of Arabia and the Prophet of Islam, to the emergence of the main figures of Jewish thought during the medieval caliphates in Baghdad, Fez, Cairo and Cordoba, from the rise of Jewish urban centers in the Maghreb and the Ottoman Empire to the beginnings of the exile of Jews from the Arab world.

In the light of this unprecedented historical perspective, the exhibition seeks to highlight and preserve the memory of a rich heritage.

Thanks to loans of works from international collections from France, England, Morocco, Israel, the United States, and Spain, the IMA will present previously unseen works in a wide variety of forms: archaeology, manuscripts, paintings, photographs, liturgical and everyday objects, and audiovisual and musical installations.

Around the exhibition, whose works come from public and private collections, the general public and specialists in Jewish history will be present with symposia, conferences and music concerts to highlight this shared heritage.

The Academy of the Kingdom of Morocco is a partner in the exhibition and the National Museum Foundation has also lent its support to this event.

Agency : MAP

Date : 2021-11-25 11:47:36



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