The General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowments organised in collaboration with the UAE President Guest Scholar Programme for the Holy month of Ramadan a forum entitled “UAE: A Nation of Tolerance”. The Forum was an interactive platform involving a wide range of institutions discussing the most salient articles of the human fraternity document for global peace and co-existence.
The Forum was attended by HE Dr Mohammed Matar al-Kaabi, Awqaf Chairman, HE Mohammed Saeed Al-Neyadi, Awqaf Director-General, and a host of heads of concerned institutions in the UAE and a massive crowd of religious leaders, teachers and media.
The goals of the Forum were to throw the spotlight on UAE’s role in promoting the values of tolerance, co-existence and citizenship, cementing the civilizational relations among religions, denouncing extremism and terrorism, and exploring efficient ways to confront extremism.
The Forum was split into three sessions; the first was titled “Terrorism and Ways to Combat It” in which the lecturers highlighted that all religions renounce and reject terrorism. Talking about this, Dr Ahmed Mohammed Al-Ameen cast the light on the manifestations of violence since the beginning of the human being when the angels asked the Almighty Allah on creating the human being and said: “Will You place upon it one who causes corruption therein and sheds blood?”. This is an interesting question, but wisdom and knowledge of Allah are vast that He has conferred upon the human being the ability to learn and work to settle the earth. The lecturer then discussed the six things that Islam came to protect as follows: religion, mind, life, property, progeny and reputation.
Ms Shama al-Dhaheri, Member of the Emirates Fatwa Council and Director of Fatwa Department at Awqaf, talked about the modern ways to perpetuate terrorism via media outlets, explaining that extremist groups take advantage of social networking sites and digital media to spread their wicked ideologies and recruit their followers.
HE Omar Habtoor al-Direi, the Executive Director for the Islamic Affairs, spoke about thousands of websites worldwide working so earnestly to spread terrorism starting from al-Khawarij to the modern extremist and terrorist groups. He then called on eliminating the spread of vicious websites and confronting them by proposing the following:
- Being mindful of the terrorist organisations and their means to create vicious rhetoric.
- Enriching the knowledge with the concepts of moderation and tolerance, instead of the despicable extremist ideologies.
- Enacting laws to monitor the terrorist content and hold those who promote it accountable.
- Putting in place preemptive indices for the manifestations of anticipated extremism and groups having the tendency to adopt extremism.
The second session was held under the title “Cementing the Concept of Full Citizenship” in which Dr al-Hassan al-Saktani talked about the topic from a religious perspective. Also, Dr Jabir Ali al-Hosani, Director of the Centre for Judicial Research and Studies, shed light on anti-discriminatory law and its role in achieving social security and full citizenship.
Likewise, Ms Salma Abdullah al-Aydarous, Preacher at Awqaf, discussed the creation of full citizenship entrenched in society by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, referring to his approach and initiatives that have become a role model to emulate for leaders, young people and citizens at large.
The third session was devoted to discussing the issue of women and child rights in consideration that family is the backbone for raising children believing in tolerance and acceptance of the other. About this, Dr Lina Mohamed al-Hamsi threw the spotlight on women and child rights in Islam. While Dr Nabah Buzaboune, Expert at Family Development Foundation, discussed the psychological perspectives in which the child is raised to promote their skills and abilities.
The session also tackled the issue of protecting children against digital risks given by Dr Eng. Hamed al-Neyadi, Executive Director for Government Relations and Corporate Communication at Applied Technology Institute and Sheikh Fatima Colleges.
It is noteworthy that this was the first Forum in a series of forums that Awqaf will hold in Ramadan inviting an elite of scholars from the Muslim world, guest of HH UAE President, may Allah protect him.