Where Religions converge harmoniously

Where Religions converge harmoniously

Dubai - Dubai to host conference to mark World Interfaith Harmony Day tomorrow

By Staff Reporter

Published: Mon 1 Feb 2016, 11:00 PM

Last updated: Tue 2 Feb 2016, 2:21 PM

In yet another testament to Dubai's religious tolerance, the emirate will, for the first time, host a conference to mark World Interfaith Harmony Day today, under the patronage of Shaikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development.

The meeting occurs during the first week of February every year. World Interfaith Harmony Week is designed to provide a platform for all interfaith groups and groups of goodwill to come together to express their solidarity with one another and with the world.
According to organisers, this year's conference will focus on "how peace at home builds peace in the world," and will bring together international religious leaders, scholars, and NGOs to discuss various faith traditions of building peaceful homes and strong families, which are essential to world peace.

 What the UAE says
In the UAE, Law No 02 of 2015 protects all religions against hate, intolerance and discrimination.
Among the law's main provisions are:
* Criminalises any act that stokes religious hatred
* Criminalises any act that insults religion through any form of expression, including the Internet
*  Punishes anyone for terming other religious groups as infidels or unbelievers
* Prohibits any act that can be considered an insult to God, His prophets, apostles, holy books, houses of worship or graveyards i
Among the key speakers this year is Frode Mauring, UNDP Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative Acting In-Charge for the UAE, Oman and Qatar. Also included are representatives of the Muslim, Christian, Hindu, Mormon, Buddhist, Sikh and Zoroastrian faiths.
 Sub-themes at this year's event will include "What Holy Books Teach About Peace in the home", "The Role of Youth in Building Peaceful Homes and Communities", "Scholarly Perspectives on Connecting Peace in the Home to Peace in the World" and "Developing Collaborative Interfaith Projects".
Approximately 200 local and international delegates are expected to attend.
"World Interfaith Harmony Week" celebrates tolerance and respect for the other that are deeply rooted in the world's major religions," said UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon. "The observance is also a summons to solidarity in the face of those who spread misunderstanding and mistrust."
World Interfaith Harmony Week was first proposed by King Abdullah II of Jordan at the UN General assembly in September 2010, and was unanimously adopted by the General Assembly on October 20 of that year.
In the resolution, the General Assembly noted that mutual understanding and inter-religious dialogue constitute important dimensions of world peace.
The UN General Assembly encourages all states to support the week and promote a message of goodwill in all the world's places of worship, on a voluntary basis and according to each country's religious traditions and convictions.

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