Countries should emulate UAE's model of tolerance

The Abrahamic Accords of 2020 and the Abrahamic Family House in Abu Dhabi are also part of the UAE's tolerance model

By Abdulla AlRiyami

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Published: Wed 3 May 2023, 12:04 AM

Last updated: Wed 10 May 2023, 2:04 PM

I choose to speak about this topic as I have witnessed a considerable global change in the tolerance of community members towards each other. Globalisation, as we know, is not perfect; it has its virtues and vices. But, unfortunately, the world faces an increase in cases of discrimination because of the rise of nationalism that threatens globalisation. This brings along discrimination based on race, religion, or nationality, and continues to be a major problem that has to be tackled in many countries.

Social unrest, conflict, and instability are gaining ground, and these are spreading like a virus; the more we pivot away from them, the more they seem to gain traction. However, the UAE chooses to work with the virtues of globalization while tackling issues that emanate from it, and is, therefore, considered a land of tolerance and coexistence. I will use this quote by the President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan: "The UAE is a unique model that unites hearts and minds through its approach based on openness, tolerance, and coexistence."

This article will discuss the UAE's model of tackling intolerance, the elephant in the room. I hope countries facing can step forward and restore tolerance in communities by applying the UAE model. As we all know, this country is home to more than 200 nationalities, and all residents live harmoniously in an inclusive and tolerant society. The government has issued a law to combat discrimination and hatred, while creating a legislative ground for an environment that protects and facilitates coexistence and acceptance in society.

The government also appointed a Minister of State For Tolerance in 2016 and declared 2019 as the Year of Tolerance. Since then, the country has implemented several initiatives to promote tolerance and coexistence. Moreover, the interfaith dialogue that it hosted February this year brought together religious leaders and scholars from around the world to discuss and showcase this tolerance model. In addition, an international institute for tolerance has been set up to promote the twin virtues of peace and tolerance globally.

The Abrahamic Accords of 2020 and the Abrahamic Family House in Abu Dhabi are also part of the UAE's tolerance model. The Accords are a set of agreements aimed at promoting peace and stability in the Middle East. They represent a significant step in promoting interfaith dialogue and understanding between different religions and cultures. Moreover, the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Abu Dhabi demonstrates the country's commitment to build a more inclusive and peaceful society. The Hindu mandir, upon completion, will become one of the largest mandirs in the world outside of India.

By promoting interfaith dialogue and understanding and fostering a culture of tolerance and respect for all individuals, the UAE is building a more inclusive, equitable, and peaceful world. Isn't it time other countries learn from the UAE's experience and adopt similar initiatives to promote tolerance, reduce discrimination, and build a better future for all? I'll leave the answer to the readers of this piece.

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