The Marrakesh Declaration is a good—albeit late—start. Political and religious leaders in the Middle East’s Muslim-majority nations have much ground to cover to protect religious minorities. Shiites are targeted in Sunni-majority nations, Sunnis in Shiite-majority nations, and Christians virtually everywhere in the Middle East.
Last month about 300 muftis, theologians, and scholars held a conference in Marrakesh, Morocco to address the problem of violence in Islamic states. The result is the Marrakesh Declaration, a 750-word document calling on Muslim countries to guarantee “full protection for the rights and liberties to all religious groups” and “confront all forms of religious bigotry.” Yet the crisis in modern Islam is that its leaders still steadfastly refuse to confront their violent past.
After Paris, Muslims need Americans – certainly, American Christians – to celebrate and strengthen the magnificence of the constitutional arrangements of the USA that welcome Muslims as Muslims to be loyal citizens in this country’s robust democracy.
A year before America entered World War II, President Franklin Roosevelt shared his vision of “a world founded upon four essential human freedoms”: freedom of speech, freedom from fear, freedom from want and “freedom of every person to worship God in his own way—everywhere in the world.”