ABU DHABI, 9th October, 2018 (WAM) -- The United Arab Emirates has set an integrated model for tolerance and peaceful coexistence among followers of different religions and creeds, stated
Dr Ali Rashid Al Nuaimi, Chairman of the World Council of Muslim Communities.
''The UAE is one of the most successful economic, social and cultural models in the world, ensuring highest levels of happiness and providing the best possible lifestyle for people from across the world to live and work in,'' he said in an interview with Emirates News Agency, WAM.
''The UAE is home to more than 200 nationalities of diverse cultural and religious backgrounds who are living and working peacefully and practicing their religious rituals freely,'' Dr. Al Nuaimi affirmed.
''The Government of the UAE donated lands to followers of other faiths to build their own places of worship and practise their religious rituals without any restrictions. The past 50 years didn't see one single case associated with religious or racial motives in the UAE,'' he noted.
The UAE, he added, issued the Anti-Discriminatory Law, the first in the world which criminalises any acts that stoke religious hatred and/or which insult religion through any form of expression.
''After the UAE, Germany, France, Britain and the EU considered issuing a similar legislation. UAE Shopping malls, schools and universities serve as a carnival for cultural and religious diversity,'' he continued.
He indicated that the in order to boost the values of tolerance and coexistence and to reject attitudes of discrimination and hatred, the UAE launched the National Tolerance Programme, which
is based on: Islam; the UAE's Constitution; Zayed's legacy and ethics of the UAE; international conventions; archaeology and history; and humanity common values.
The UAE, he went on to say, launched Hedayah, the International Centre of Excellence for Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) which serves as the global hub for sharing, promoting and building good practice for countering violent extremism through innovative research, dialogue, training and capacity building activity.
''The UAE believes that religious, cultural and social diversity is the only way to deliver sustainable development goals, social welfare and economic prosperity,'' he said.
He stated that the VI Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions which Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan, will host on October 10-11, provides a fitting opportunity
for interaction and dialogue among leaders of religious and international organisations, as well as prominent political and public figures to find solutions to the common threats and challenges of our time.
''UAE organisations advocating tolerance and countering extremism will gain new insights, experiences and knowledge as well as build new partnerships during the event. The UAE will take the opportunity of the faith leaders gathering to present its model of tolerance, which constitutes one of the country's soft power tools,'' he concluded.
The congress is being held this year under the theme "Religious Leaders for a Safe World".
Held every three years in the Kazakhstan capital, the Congress seeks to promote global dialogue among religions and cultures while deepening and strengthening mutual understanding and respect among different religious communities. It also aims to develop a culture of tolerance and mutual respect as opposed to an ideology of hatred and extremism, and fosters cooperation and interaction with all international organisations and structures that pursue the goals of promoting dialogue between religions, cultures and civilisations.