osted by the Rabita Mohammadia of Ulemas
November 12, 2014
Dear Minister Bouaida, Dr. Ahmed Abbadi, ladies and gentlemen, Assalamou Alyakoum.
It is a great pleasure to be with you today. You may know that my wife is not with me full-time here in Morocco, but when I learned about this conference this summer I asked her to put it on her calendar, because I knew how important it is.
In the United States, women are a crucial pillar of all sectors of society – the government, finance, civil society, philanthropy, and more. Religion is one part of our society in which women have made great strides, especially in the past fifty years. Today women across the country are leaders in their faith communities and heroes to young believers.
I am proud to be Ambassador to a country that not only accepts diversity but celebrates it. This conference has gathered some of the world’s leading scholars on women and religion and interfaith dialogue. I am positive that the learning and sharing that will take place here will greatly benefit the academic institutions and students of religion in Morocco and beyond.
The governments of Morocco and the United States have an ongoing strategic dialogue that addresses a wide range of issues of concern to both nations. Among the issues we have discussed most intently has been interfaith dialogue. At our last strategic dialogue meeting in April of this year, we resolved to expand our discussion beyond governments to include scholars and faith leaders from both countries. The conference today is the result, with a goal of deepening the relationship between our countries in the academic and religious fields.
I would like to thank all the participants here, especially those who have traveled from the United States to experience the generosity, kindness and erudition of the Moroccan people. I wish you a productive conference that honors women and their immense contribution to the monotheistic religions.