UAE Ambassador to India Ahmed Al Banna
UAE Ambassador to India Ahmed Al Banna

UAE marks 2019 as 'Year of Tolerance'

ANI | Updated: Jan 29, 2019 18:07 IST

New Delhi [India], Jan 29 (ANI): The United Arab Emirates is marking 2019 as the 'Year of Tolerance', to promote acceptance and understanding as core values of the society.
The announcement aims to highlight the UAE as a global capital for tolerance and its approach, since its establishment, to be a bridge of communication between peoples of different cultures in a respectful environment that rejects extremism and emphasises on the acceptance of the other," a statement issued by the Embassy of the UAE in New Delhi said.
The Year of Tolerance will focus on five main pillars, including teaching the youth values of tolerance and solidifying UAE as the global capital of tolerance through initiatives.
“We believe that tolerance and acceptance is part of India. And to see the acceptance of different nationality, religion etc in India we believe we are on the same level with what India does. We are basically trying to create a culture of co-existence and teach the youth tolerance and its meaning,” said UAE Ambassador to India Ahmed Al Banna.
Meanwhile, Abu Dhabi's Crown Prince has ordered the renaming of the Sheikh Mohammad bin Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi to 'Mariam, Umm Eisa’ as part of initiatives to mark the year.
In November 2017, H. H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid named the pedestrian bridge over the Dubai Canal as the Tolerance Bridge. The announcement was made on the 22nd International Day of Tolerance. The naming reflects tolerance as a fundamental value in the UAE community where people from over 200 nationalities live in harmony without racism, discrimination or intolerance, the statement said.
The post of the Minister of State for Tolerance was first introduced in 2016 when H. H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Prime Minister and Vice-President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, announced structural changes to the 12th Cabinet, reinforcing the UAE's commitment to eradicating ideological, cultural and religious bigotry in the society. Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi was the first the Minister of State for Tolerance.
The UAE has already taken steps towards cementing the nation as an example of tolerance by issuing an anti-discriminatory law in 2015, which aims to fight discrimination against individuals or groups based on religion, caste, doctrine, race, colour or ethnic origin, as part of its National Tolerance Programme.
In July 2015, the United Arab Emirates and the United States of America co-founded Sawab. (Sawab means the right path in Arabic.) It is an online engagement initiative, in support of the global coalition against extremism. Sawab seeks to give a voice to the millions of Muslims and others around the world who stand united against terrorism and the religious misinterpretations that are being propagated by them, said the ambassador.
The centre works with religious leaders, organisations, businesses and youth in order to amplify their voices, challenge extremism doctrines of hate and intolerance and demonstrate the true values of the UAE's community. (ANI)