The Kingdom of Morocco has been proactive and anticipatory in measuring the danger of violent extremism. It has implemented a multidimensional and integrated strategy, the most important axis of which is prevention in strict compliance with the rule of law and human rights.
This comprehensive strategy, which consists of combining five essential pillars, includes an overhaul of the religious sphere as well as vigilant and legal security measures aimed at strengthening human rights and the rule of law, regional and international cooperation and anti-radicalization policies, which prioritize economic and human development.
To this end, Moroccan policy in the management of religious affairs is based on the fact that the Head of State, as Commander of the Faithful, has a legitimacy that is based on an exercise of power for 12 centuries. The corollary of this function is the preservation of religious constants and the protection of the free exercise of worship, based on the principles of moderate, tolerant and open Sunni Islam.
Thus, Morocco has operated since 2008 an overhaul of the religious field in order to preserve the religious reference of Morocco based on moderation, openness, tolerance and to protect the Kingdom against violent extremism.
This overhaul of the religious fieldwas materialised by the reform of the religious education programs, the enhancement of the role of women and the redefinition of the role of mosques.
On the security and legal front, the strategy, put in place by Morocco to eradicate this scourge, which threatens not only Morocco, but also the entire Maghreb and Sahel region, is based on the prevention of malicious acts and vigilance.
In order to materialize this approach, an overhaul of the national security architecture was adopted, in order to strengthen security governance in accordance with the principles of democracy, human rights and the rule of law.
In this regard, Morocco set up the Central Bureau of Judicial Investigations (BCIJ) in March 2015. This structure is the result of cooperation between the Departments of Interior and Justice. It has also strengthened its legal arsenal, through the amendments made to the Penal Code.
This restructuring was designed as part of an approach based simultaneously on respect for human rights and the tranquillity of citizens, which are guaranteed by the 2011 Constitution, which constitutes a genuine National Charter of Human Rights, good governance and human development.
Preventing and combating violent extremism in the Kingdom of Morocco also involves promoting inclusive human development, to establish strong social nets that strengthen the resilience of vulnerable categories to radicalization and prevent the creation of breeding grounds for terrorism and violent extremism.
Aware of the fact that international cooperation against terrorism is a decisive element in the fight against terrorism, Morocco participates at regional and international levels in the dissemination of good practices in in order to fight violent extremism.
In this respect, the Kingdom of Morocco co-organized with the United States of America the first Policy Dialogue on the Fight against Violent Extremism in Geneva, on December 4th, 2015, which brought together for the first time the Geneva diplomatic community with international think tanks, active in research on violent extremism.
In its capacity as Co-Chair of the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF), Morocco developed with the Netherlands the Hague-Marrakesh Memorandum on Foreign Terrorist Fighters (FTF). This memorandum constitutes an important tool made available to the States and brings together the good practices developed in the management of FTFs.
The Kingdom of Morocco and the European Union have also agreed to set up an initiative within the framework of the GCTF on “education to prevent and fight against violent extremism leading to terrorism”, the announcement of which will take place in May 2023.