Message of Tolerance of the UAE

  • 14 September 2009

On the occasion of the opening of ‘Sheikh Zayed Islamic Cultural Center,’ in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa last Saturday, the United Arab Emirates issued a message of tolerance to the world through a statement by His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, for ‘The Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Charitable and Humanitarian Foundation,’ that was delivered in the form of a speech on his behalf on the occasion by the Director-General, where His Highness reiterated the commitment made by the UAE President, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed, may God protect him, for the construction of the houses of God based on HH’s belief in their role both in education and in the dissemination of values of tolerance and compassion among human beings. He pointed out that "The Zayed Charitable and Humanitarian Foundation” shall proceed forward with the establishment of charitable and humanitarian projects in various fields of religion, education and health services to achieve development for the human race.

“The cultural and humanitarian projects” carried out by the UAE overseas, both in the Arab and Islamic countries or others, reflect the refined cultural vision of looking at the world, and relationships among its people—with their religions, beliefs and diverse cultures. It is a vision based on several key elements, the first is that cultural, religious and ethnic differences should not be a source of hostility and conflict between nations and communities, but is a motive for dialogue and rapprochement among themselves, because the difference is what encourages interaction, and therefore, it is important to accept one another, respect and tolerate for whatever the degree of disagreement is. Perhaps, the fact of positive coexistence between scores of nationalities, beliefs and cultures in the UAE, clearly confirms this reality.  Second, there has to be a belief in a common human destiny, thus, the humanitarian tendency characterizes the UAE’s foreign policy since its inception, as it’s keenness to provide aid and assistance for all needy in the different regions of the world, regardless of race, religion or belief. Third, the most dangerous thing that can face the world and threaten its security, stability and development is the trend that religions and civilizations are to clash and be in conflict, because this would trigger sources of tension and turmoil throughout the planet, and prevent the people of the world from cooperating in their bid to face common challenges, that no people of any country or nation can face alone, no matter what capabilities it posses. Fourth, the most important area of cooperation and coordination at the international level is the one that deals and focuses on development, because the reason for achieving development by the whole world is to bring security and stability, as absence of development represents a source for manifestations of extremism, instability and conflict and disputes, both within nations or between them or between each other.

This vision is the one that guides the UAE in its external relations, and governs any step forward in this regard. Therefore, the Emirates is always seen as an advocate for peace, development and co-existence and an element of stability in the region and the world.