The UAE’s Cultural Vision of Islam

  • 13 July 2014

During his meeting on Friday with Muslim preachers and scholars – who were guests of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan (may God protect him) – His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, highlighted the UAE’s cultural vision and the correct image of Islam. His Highness stressed that Islamic values of coexistence and dialog, compassion and progress are based on rejection of fanaticism, extremism and terrorism. These values urge Muslims to help those belonging to their faith and their country. His Highness said that Islam is a religion of peace, compassion, justice, tolerance, equality, science and ethics.

The keenness of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan (may God protect him) to host Muslim preachers and scholars from different countries during the holy month of Ramadan every year is consistent with the UAE’s mission to present the right image of Islam, away from a distorted view that takes all of us backward. It is part of the initiatives taken by the UAE to promote moderation and in support of religious institutions that try to inculcate these values among the Arab youth who are under fierce attack by some groups that are determined to destroy the image of Islam.

At a time when the Arab world is witnessing a rise in extremist groups, who misinterpret religion to justify their criminal deeds, the vision expressed by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum assumes significance and highlights the UAE’s role in intellectual discourse to confront the atmosphere of disorder, chaos and sectarian strife that threaten its unit, security, development and coexistence of its people. Arab countries need unity and stability to tackle this challenge and compete with the world in order to ensure welfare and decent living for their people, and safeguard human life and dignity. This is the essence of the Islamic faith and Muslims should work toward achieving it.

The lecture being organized by the Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research (ECSSR) on Tuesday at its headquarters in Abu Dhabi is consistent with the UAE’s approach to present the true image of Islam, which is far from misinterpretations and political exploitation. The lecture – A Culture of Coexistence: Towards a New Vision – is the third such event to be held as part of the Ramadan Strategic Dialogue, organized by the Center during the holy month of Ramadan. This is the role that think-tanks should play in contributing to the intellectual discourse on the scourge of extremism and militancy.