To mark the Year of Tolerance and promote the UAE’s vision on peaceful coexistence, religious tolerance, and acceptance of other cultures and faiths, Dr. Fahad Obaid Al Taffaq, UAE Ambassador to Nigeria, opened a forum on interreligious dialogue and tolerance at the Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Centre in the Nigerian capital Abuja.
The event, which was attended by Professor Yemi Osinbajo, Vice President of Nigeria; Zubairu Dada, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs; Abubakar Sani Bello, Governor of Niger State; and a number of ambassadors and consuls, scholars, and faculty members, featured panel discussions centered on the values of moderation and tolerance in Islam, Christianity, and other religions while highlighting the importance of peaceful coexistence, fraternity, and mutual respect in diverse communities.
Panelists, including Sheikh Dr. Ahmed bin Abdul Aziz Al Haddad, Grand Mufti and Head of the Fatwa Department at the Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department in Dubai, spoke about the role of media and social media influencers in promoting the values of tolerance, peaceful coexistence, and moderation, in addition to the rejection of hatred and sectarianism. Speakers stressed the need to publish accurate information and news in a professional and transparent manner while avoiding the spread of fabricated news that undermines the fabric of society.
Addressing the event, the UAE Ambassador to Nigeria called for individuals to respect the opinions of others and promote the principles of human fraternity, peaceful coexistence, and interfaith tolerance in order to build safe, productive, and united communities.
He reviewed the UAE’s experiment in instilling the values of tolerance across society as an extension of the vision of the nation’s late Founding Father, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, through the policies of openness and dialogue with others.
The UAE leadership has steadily remained on that course, turning tolerance into a daily practice and lifestyle, making the UAE an icon of tolerance and universal humanity, he added.
Professor Yemi Osinbajo, Vice President of Nigeria, called on various segments of the Nigerian community to combat hatred with love and embrace the principles of compassion, understanding, and coexistence when dealing with followers of other religions.
He pointed to the pivotal role that traditional and social media platforms can play in promoting these values.
At the end of the forum, Al Taffaq presented a copy of the Document on Human Fraternity, signed by His Holiness Pope Francis of the Catholic Church and Sheikh Dr. Ahmed el-Tayeb, Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, and a copy of the Marrakesh Declaration, a statement that champions and defends the rights of religious minorities in the Islamic World.
Source: UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs