KT edit: UAE builds global institutions of tolerant governance

Violence has been unleashed and millions have been killed in the name of religion.

Published: Sun 22 Sep 2019, 8:00 PM

Last updated: Sun 22 Sep 2019, 10:07 PM

The ability to find common links, origins, or cause can often be a spiritual experience. It results in a way of life where people live together in what is called tolerance or social harmony. There is freedom in such systems which gains deeper meaning with the help of the state that promotes these virtues. It can be a path towards peace, a firm path that can sweep aside the differences, distrust, and conflicts of the past. The Abrahamic religions, Islam, Christianity, and Judaism, all originated in the Middle East. They have a common ancestor Abraham, revered by the three monotheistic religions that believe in one God. Where God is great, God is love, and God is merciful. They share common prophets too, yet they have waged conflicts over generations. Wars have been fought in the name of this one God.
Violence has been unleashed and millions have been killed in the name of religion. The UAE has reflected deeply on these religions and asked: 'Why not bring them together? We have had our differences, let's move on, we have one creator, so why not be one in the spirit and find our true purpose and forge a new way of coexistence?' Over the years, the UAE invited scholars and religious leaders from the three monotheistic religions. Dialogue was promoted and what emerged was that the Abrahamic religions can indeed act together to instil peace in a global governance system, a lasting and enduring peace that the ancestor Abraham envisaged in the spirit of that one God. 'God is peace' is the conclusion.
Pope Francis's landmark visit to the UAE in February this year, the first Papal trip to the Gulf, only proved that people who believe in the Abrahamic faiths need not be chained to violent events of history that only served to divided them. The Pope signed the Document of Human Fraternity with Dr Ahmed Al Tayeb, the Grand Imam of Al Azhar, during the historic meeting. With the unveiling of the Abrahamic House of Fraternity in New York on Saturday, the UAE is sending a divine message to the world. Construction of this house will begin in Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi next year. It will be an institution for peace that will house a mosque, a church, and a synagogue. The idea is for the three faiths to keep talking to each other. Dialogue is easier if there is a common institution, a house, that brings them together, that reminds the three faiths of their common origins. Indeed, the Abrahamic House of Fraternity will be a sanctuary for world harmony and spiritual governance.

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