UAE offers remarkable tolerance model - GulfToday

UAE offers remarkable tolerance model


The photo has been used for illustrative purposes.

At a time when the world is increasingly witnessing divisions between nations and peoples and an unbridled spike in hate speech and hate crimes, the UN Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) has taken the correct initiative by launching a new plan of action to counter hate and violence around the globe.

Religious sites are powerful symbols of our collective consciousness, as UN Secretary-General António Guterres points out. When people are attacked because of their religion or beliefs, all of society is diminished.

People should uphold the desire to live and act together, united in differences and diversity, in order to build a sustainable world of peace, solidarity and harmony.

In the aftermath of horrific attacks on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand; three Catholic churches in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday; and an increasing number of hate-based attacks targeting religious sites worldwide, the UNAOC was asked by the UN chief to develop Thursday’s Plan of Action.

According to the Secretary-General, this is complemented by the Plan of Action on Hate Speech, which coordinates efforts across the UN system to address the root causes of incendiary language and respond effectively.

Both plans certainly provide important and mutually reinforcing new tools to combat intolerance and all segments of the society should cooperate to make this world a better place to live in.  

As well stated by Guterres, the best way to overcome the threat of violence based on unacceptable forms of manipulation of religion and belief is by uniting our voices for good, countering messages of hate with messages of peace, embracing diversity as a richness not a threat, investing in social cohesion and protecting human rights.

One hopes that through this Plan of Action, the UN is able to effectively address hatred that has emerged as one of the leading global challenges of our era.

Talking about tolerance, the UAE has provided a global model and proved that a perfectly harmonious society is possible. The country has successfully demonstrated that tolerance and peaceful coexistence are the best antidotes to a world filled with xenophobia and quest to build separation walls.

Hosting some 200 nationalities and letting them live and work in incredible harmony is an accomplishment that most other nations could only dream of. Every individual in the UAE would enthusiastically vouch for the fact that this is the safest and most harmonious society.

The declaration of 2019 as the “Year of Tolerance’” by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan is a continuation of the leadership’s consistent approach in implanting precious values in the society.

The post of the Minister of State for Tolerance was first introduced in 2016 when His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, announced structural changes to the 12th Cabinet, reinforcing the UAE’s commitment to eradicate ideological, cultural and religious bigotry in the society.

Countering extremism in an era of technology is no easy task. Organisations like the International Institute for Tolerance, Hedayah Centre and Sawab Centre have been set up to tackle such activities.

Sheikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, UAE’s Minister of Tolerance, earlier explained very well: “Tolerance is like oxygen and the people of the UAE are the trees helping equally to produce the oxygen of tolerance. The greater the participation of the country’s people in promoting tolerance, the more harmonious, peaceful and prosperous the country will be.”

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