- 27 December 2010
Threats to Christians in Iraq, attacks targeting churches in Nigeria, killing and injuring several people and the blast at a church in the Philippines during Christmas celebrations are all indications of a kind of religious extremism that has become the most dangerous threat facing the world today. Radical groups that seek to deepen religious and sectarian discord are determined to impose their dangerous agenda and are bent on fueling the most incendiary conflicts facing mankind. People who threatened Iraqi Christians and assaulted churches in Nigeria and the Philippines neither represent Islam nor Muslims. They violate the principles of religion and misinterpret scriptures. There is hence a need to abort the plans of such extremists, isolate them and prevent them from creating a divide of a religious nature.
Despite calls for efforts to prevent the clash of civilizations and irrespective of the condemnation of assaults on religious places and tensions between different faiths, events confirm that such a danger continues to exist and will even escalate in times to come if strong action is not taken by the concerned local and international organizations to save the world from sliding into a tragic conflict. Those who fuel such conflicts are extremist minorities that pose a threat to the fabric of the society by targeting sacred places that have a major sentimental value and shape people’s behaviors. As a result, such events might cause tension that cannot be controlled with the passage of time. There is an urgent need for the religious, educational and media organizations, as well as other relevant institutions, to play an active role in formulating people’s ideology and opinions and spreading the values of tolerance and dialogue among different faiths and sects.
This will stress the importance of coexistence and acceptance of each other and will make them understand that crossing the red line of belief is a violation and sparks religious confrontation that cannot be easily extinguished. In this context, the UAE presents a distinctive model of what the values of tolerance, accepting others and dialogue could lead to. The country is the ideal example of coexistence between races, cultures and religions without any conflict or discord. This has been the result of the wise policies of the President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan who has always called for tolerance and has translated it into policies that have received appreciation on the international level.