Education can curb extremism, promote peace, says minister
Sheikh Nahyan said that tolerance, peace, cooperation, mutual respect and peaceful co-existence are important values to the lives of people.
Educating the youth about values - tolerance, love, harmony and non-violence - can help promote peace and prevent extremism, Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance, told religious leaders at an interfaith conference in Abu Dhabi.
In his key note speech at the religious conference on 'Interfaith Tolerance Education to Combat Extremism' on Sunday, Sheikh Nahyan said that tolerance, peace, cooperation, mutual respect and peaceful co-existence are important values to the lives of people and to the society today.
"These values are also at the core of the UAE's vision for its present and future. The government has worked relentlessly to promote tolerance in order to achieve peace globally," he said.
"I have confidence that education can play a big role in helping the Western societies to appreciate the rich and diverse world of Islam."
The minister said that education is key to providing greater understanding, mutual respect and to help people know each other. "We need to embrace our differences and diversity. Religion shouldn't be used to engage in wars or incite violence. As we look to religious tolerance, let's work together as individuals to promote peace," Sheikh Nahyan told the various religious leaders gathering for two-day conference.
"Let us focus on issues that bring us together than those that divide us. We should use our religious differences to be a common ground for problem solving and promoting peace but not divisionism and hatred."
Sheikh Abdullah Al Bayyah, president of the Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies and chairman of Emirates Fatwa Council, said inculcating tolerance among people is a difficult but necessary value for a peaceful world. "Moral upbringing remains necessary in education. Children's character and behaviour should be given top priority through teaching youngsters the values of peace, love for each other, respect for everyone and tolerance," he said.
"Religion serves as a powerful source of peace and we should make use of our religions to promote love and peace among the believers and reject extremism ideas."
Sheikh Al Bayyah said presenting a counter narrative towards extremism ideas and radicalism through religious teachings is very important. "Islam preaches peace, tolerance and peaceful co-existence and this is why the UAE is working relentlessly for dialogue to promote togetherness and ensure peace in the world over," he added.
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