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Moroccan king claims to be 'commander of all believers' Open in fullscreen

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Moroccan king claims to be 'commander of all believers'

The king made the comments while denying rumours his charities only worked with Muslims [Anadolu]

Date of publication: 27 November, 2016

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King Mohammad VI made the bizarre statement during an interview while visiting Madagascar for the annual summit of the International Organisation of La Francophonie.
The king of Morocco claimed to be the leader of every religious person in the world on Saturday, in his first media interview in eleven years.

King Mohammad VI made the controversial claim to Madagascar's Malagasy Press whilst also discussing Morocco's relations with the African continent.

"The King of Morocco is commander of the faithful, commander of the believers, believers of all religions," said King Mohammad.

According to article 19 of the Moroccan constitution, the king is the “Amir al-Mumineen” (Commander of the Faithful) and the defender of the faith.

King Mohammad made the comments while denying rumours that his charity centres only worked with Muslims, saying they welcomed everybody.

"The rumors claiming that these projects only benefit the Muslim community are totally false," he said.

"These projects are, of course, for the whole population."

The king answered five questions, which frequently referred back to Morocco's relations with the African continent and the potential of rejoining the African Union.

I wear on my heart an ever increasing pride in being African

- King Mohammad VI

"Every country, old friends and new, particularly in East Africa, are unanimous in supporting the reintegration of Morocco to the African Union," he said.

"It is in order to achieve this inter-African cooperation model that I frequently move around the continent, this continent where I feel good.

"I wear on my heart an ever increasing pride in being African."

Morocco is currently looking to rejoin the African Union, which it left in protest after the body voted to recognise Western Sahara as an independent state in 1984.

The Moroccan delegation walked out of a Africa-Arab nation summit in Equatorial Guinea on Wednesday, after a delegation from Western Sahara also attended.

The king is currently in Antananarivo, the capital of Madagascar, for the annual summit of the International Organisation of La Francophonie (IOF), an international group of French-speaking nations.

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