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Abu Dhabi

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Wed, 22 Jan 2020 20:31 GMT

Instilling Communal Peace and Harmony within Society

Politics

Mohamed Zerari

Thu, 14 Nov 2019 18:27 GMT

At the World Tolerance Summit 2019 in Dubai, community leaders from around the world share their knowledge about cultural tolerance as distinguished guests present their views, reiterating the message of peace and harmony in the Middle East and beyond.

In the midst of rising global radicalism and continued conflicts, academics and thinkers as well as educators have come together to witness an international, open dialogue aimed at spreading peace and harmony while promoting values of tolerance worldwide.

Commenting on the current situation in Hong Kong, Victor Chan, founder of the Dalai Lama Centre for Peace and Education in Canada said: “There is a spread of intolerance in my country Hong Kong as we currently live in a polarized world where extremism exists and we should come together as one people and open discussions. We should open channels of dialogues to tackle the issue of intolerance in the world.”

Father Dr Rifat M Bader, Founder and Director, Catholic Centre for Studies and Media in Jordan, reiterated the status quo in the world today saying “So many people are suffering because of their beliefs and their ideologies. In the past years, we have witnessed so many horrific events that resulted in dozens of deaths, and people were treated based on their ethnicities or religions.”

Commenting on the importance of spreading the idea of tolerance without borders, Sheikh Abdullah bin Bayyah, Chairman of the UAE Council for Sharia Fatwa and Chairman of the Forum for the Promotion of Peace said: “The World Tolerance Summit 2019 reflects the vision and history of the UAE, which offers a wonderful and unique example to the world in the field of tolerance in action, in words and deeds. Dubai for this humanitarian initiative, under the patronage of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid demonstrates the UAE's leading role in spreading and consolidating the principles of understanding and tolerance.”

In February this year, the UAE hosted His Holiness Pope Francis, along with the Grand Imam of Al Azhar, his Eminence Sheikh Ahmed al Tayeb, who signed a moving testament for mutual respect. It stated that the diversity of religions is willed by the Creator. “This divine wisdom,” they wrote, “is the source from which the right to freedom of belief and the freedom to be different derive.”

The signing in Abu Dhabi initiated a process that has seen two meetings of the higher committee that was formed to develop the document. It met in Rome in September and New York last week.

The recommendations of the second session of the World Tolerance Summit 2019 have highlighted the following points:

• Tolerance and mutual respect are a way to de-radicalise and open the world for better positive change and lay the foundations of peace

• Tolerance should be encouraged, and disciplined openness, listening to the other and solidarity should be encouraged in schools, universities and homes

• Tolerance today is more important than ever in our era of economic globalisation and increased mobility, communication and integration

• Education is the most effective way to prevent intolerance and the first building block to spread and promote tolerance among people is education, an urgent necessity

• We at the World Tolerance Summit pledge to support and implement social science research and education programmes for tolerance

• We are committed to promoting tolerance, respect and human dignity for all

• We aim to encourage initiatives aimed at reducing negative perceptions and attitudes towards refugees and migrants in a way that preserves their dignity

• We are commited to deepening our solidarity with each other and expanding the field of joint work for the good of all mankind and the preservation of the environment

• In order to achieve positive change, we need to action the decisions and recommendations arising from events and conferences related to tolerance

Middle East