Sharjah: The UAE’s culture of tolerance should be strengthened and spread in order to counter extremism and violence, Shaikha Lubna Al Qasimi, Minister of State for Tolerance, said on Wednesday.
Speaking at the second session of the Sharjah Ramadan Majlis, Shaikha Lubna called for promoting tolerance as a measure to protect youth from extremism.
Her comments came during the session on ‘Philanthropy, Humanity and Tolerance in UAE’ in line with the UAE’s Year of Giving initiative, at Al Majaz Amphitheatre.
She emphasised that tolerance has been at the core of the UAE as a nation and society.
“We in the UAE inherited a culture of tolerance firstly because of our Islamic teachings and beliefs that teach us to be tolerant; and secondly, because of the vision of the late Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the visionary founding president of the UAE, and other architects of the UAE, who strongly believed in tolerance and acceptance of others,” she said.
The late Shaikh Zayed always talked about humanity, not just Muslims, welcoming people from around the world and more than 200 nationalities, she pointed out.
Addressing the majlis, being hosted by Sharjah Government Media Bureau (SGMB) and Sharjah Media Corporation, she also talked about the National Programme of Tolerance. Launched by the UAE in partnership with the public and private sectors, she said the goal of this initiative is to promote a cohesive, happy and tolerant society.
“We in the UAE have an ideal society; we have peace and law and order. However, it is a different, dangerous world out there which some of our young people get exposed to, thanks to social media. We need to protect our children by promoting tolerance and peace,” she said, emphasising that every person living in the UAE is part of the NPT initiative.
Shaikha Lubna added that the UAE is focused on its youth as they represent the future of the nation and form the majority of the population. “We have a youth ministry that is aimed at reaching out to and addressing the issues and concerns of this young segment of the population. When the youth are neglected, it leads to chaos in society,” she said, calling for adopting and speaking the language of today’s youth to understand their concerns, issues and challenges.
Meanwhile, Dr Hamdan Musallam Al Mazroui, chairman of Emirates Red Crescent, said that Sharjah is close to his heart because of its various humanitarian initiatives.
In his concluding remarks, Shaikh Sultan Bin Ahmad Al Qasimi, Chairman of the Sharjah Media Council, who presided the Ramadan Majlis, underlined the importance of inculcating a culture of giving and philanthropy in children and young people. Recalling his recent visit to the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan with his children, he said interacting with Syrian refugees had been an unforgettable experience for him and his children.