Visit of Pope, Grand Imam of Al Azhar highlights UAE’s leading role in spreading tolerance: Scholars

ABU DHABI, 30th January, 2019 (WAM) — Muslim scholars and Christian clerics stated that the historic joint visit of His Holiness Pope Francis, Head of the Catholic Church, and Dr. Ahmed Al Tayeb, Grand Imam of Al Azhar, to the UAE next week highlights the UAE’s leading international role in promoting peace and tolerance, as part of the country’s integrated vision premised on ensuring social cohesion, acceptance of others and peace.Sheikh Abdullah bin Bayyah, Chairman of the Emirates Fatwa Council and President of the Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies, told the Emirates News Agency, WAM, that the historic visit of two global icons of tolerance and peace underlines the role of the UAE’s leadership in establishing peace, tolerance, coexistence and acceptance.He added that the joint visit falls within the UAE’s vision to ensure harmony in the region and around the world, pointing out that the country aims to spread its values and virtues and calls for peaceful co-existence.Sheikh Abdullah also praised the UAE’s role in fostering the culture of peace and stability as well as its adoption of the concept of mutual respect and duties while considering domestic factors, and laws against discrimination, hate speech and contempt of other religions, with the aim of uniting the community and protecting it from hate rhetoric and violence.He added that the UAE established the Ministry of Tolerance and declared 2019 as the Year of Tolerance in line with the vision of tolerance of the Founding Father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.Joseph Faragalla, pastor at the Arabic Evangelical Church in Abu Dhabi, said that the UAE will witness a historic meeting during the coming days, which will reflect the close relations between various religions and cultures around the world, pointing out that the pioneering initiative of the UAE’s leadership promote coexistence, acceptance and openness.

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