Religious Tolerance: The UAE's Interfaith Success

The Middle East, January 2016 | Go to article overview

Religious Tolerance: The UAE's Interfaith Success


The religious divide between Sunni and Shia Muslims has rarely been so apparent in contemporary times, as it is right now. Regionally, we have also seen, Copts, Kurds and Yazidis, among others, suffer the tragic consequences of an intolerance, most of us believed, or at least hoped, was gone for good in the modern world. Similar inter-factional conflicts abound across the globe, bringing with them misery and deprivation to millions of the world's most seriously disenfranchised.

How can it be that one man can torture, murder or maim another he knows nothing about, other than the fact his religious beliefs do not exactly coincide with his own? Given that the teachings of all the world's major religions are that man should look towards tolerance, love and an attempted understanding of all members of the human race, where are we going wrong?

To get the best results the idea of religious tolerance should be embraced at the highest levels, not only by Church, or Mosque, but also by the State, including its' government and judiciary.

Within the countries of the Gulf--which has seen more than its share of religious-based internecine disputes during the 21st century--two countries, the UAE and Oman, stand out for their attempts to bring religious harmony to their own people and non-nationals who enjoy their hospitality.

Although both countries are strongly Islamic, both have helped people of other faiths find security in celebrating God in their own way.

Religious freedom has been a constant for the UAE since its formation, with religious freedom enshrined within the country's national constitution. …

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