Dubai: Dr Anwar Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and Federal National Council Affairs took to Twitter on Thursday to address comments about the UAE’s decision to allocate land to build a Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi.

During Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit last week, the UAE Government announced its decision to allocate land in Abu Dhabi to build the first Hindu temple in the emirate.

Modi commended the decision by tweeting that he is very thankful to the UAE Government, adding that “This is a great step.”

There are two Hindu temples and one gurudwara in Dubai for the Sikh community, but none in Abu Dhabi.

Following the UAE Government’s decision to grant the land, Dr Gargash joined the Twitter conversations that circulated regarding this news and responded to some of the public’s tweets.

“Whoever reads the history of the region knows that the Hindu minority lived in the region from the 18th century and had their place of worship. Are we now less accepting and tolerable to other religions in the 21st century?” said a tweet by Emirati media personality, Ali Khalifa Ali, which was retweeted by Dr Gargash to his 145,500 followers.

Dr Gargash retweeted another comment by Ali, which said: “In the UAE, all communities practise their faith while living in peace and harmony in a society that from the beginning was respectful and tolerant to different religious practices.”

In response to people who were intolerant of the decision to build a Hindu temple in the capital, Dr Gargash tweeted that the Dubai temple was built a long time ago to serve the trading community that came from India and spread in the Gulf for more than two centuries, adding that these are facts that should not be overlooked.

“Therefore, using this subject to criticise the UAE is a dirty approach from a sad group that wants to see things the way they want and ignore the clear facts for their own negative motives,” he said, adding that “I hope these people reassess their record of failures that created an extremist and terrorist environment, which pushed people away from each other and divided Muslims into groups and categories,”

Dr Gargash concluded his string of tweets and retweets by saying that he will always have a voice in defending the UAE because it his beloved country and because it is a successful Arab model that seeks the well-being of its people and embraces the future.