Moroccan king to GES 2014: 'our religion does not object to profit'

King Mohammad VI was addressing the fifth Global Entrepreneurship Summit being held in Marrakech

Mustapha Ajbaili
Mustapha Ajbaili - Al Arabiya News, Marrakech
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Addressing the fifth Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Marrakech, King Mohammed VI urged young entrepreneurs to make use of technology to create new business initiatives.

Islam “does not object to profit,” he said in a statement read by Prime Minister Abdelilah Benkirane.

“On the contrary, [Islam] encourages the entrepreneurial spirit, personal fulfilment and promotion based on merit,” the king added.

“The institution of the waqf [endowment] is an original form of entrepreneurship, which is rooted in our tradition of inter-generational solidarity.”

Addressing an audience of more than 3,000 entrepreneurs, as well as world business and political leaders, the king noted the importance of empowering youths to realize their aspirations in a region plagued by religious extremism and poverty.

“To overcome the pessimism that has plagued our continent, our governments should instil self-confidence in our young people so that they can believe in their ability to learn and to become entrepreneurs,” he said.

“To this end, we need to nurture positive examples and turn success stories into models to emulate.”

He said modern means of communication, which are “sometimes perverted to serve reprehensible causes, such as religious radicalization or the promotion of deviant ideologies,” should be harnessed for “the benefit of positive emulation and citizens’ initiatives.”

Morocco was the host nation of this year’s Global Entrepreneurship Summit, which was announced by U.S. President Barack Obama during his landmark visit to Egypt in 2009.

The first summit was held in Washington in 2010, and subsequently in Dubai, Istanbul, Kuala Lumpur and now Marrakech.

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