Morocco, an example of democracy and Islam reconciliation, Portuguese FM
Morocco-Portugal, Politics, 5/20/2004
Portuguese Foreign Affairs Ministers, Teresa Gouveia, gave Tuesday an example of Morocco as a country capable of reconciling democracy and Islamic values.
Opening an international seminar in Lisbon with her Moroccan peer, Mohamed Benaissa, on the "new agenda of the Mediterranean region and the Middle East" Gouveia insisted on the need to put an end to the "myth of incompatibility of Islam and modernity."
She argued that Moslem Andalusia was the origin of important breakthroughs in sciences, technologies and arts in Europe. However, she said, we "should not go back in mind to a thousand years back" to be aware of these advances since there are at present "successful cases of countries that reconciled between the process of reforms and the values and ethics of Islam."
The Portuguese official underscored that democracy was consolidated in Morocco and that, in the social realm, the family law adopted early this year enhanced equity between men and women.
For Gouveia, the reform process in the Arab states should focus on the idea of modernization and not westernalization of these countries.
On his part, Mohammed Benaissa outlined during the ceremony the "vast program of reforms" undertaken by Morocco to establish a country that is "democratic in governing and modern in economic and social structures."
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