The UAE has enacted laws and formed government organisations to promote a culture of tolerance and to clamp down on hate crime, the head of Dubai’s Islamic affairs authority said.
The anti-discrimination law, that came into effect in 2015 and criminalises all forms of discrimination on the grounds of religion, caste, creed, doctrine, race, colour or ethnic origin, and the establishment of a Ministry of Tolerance are among the ways the country is leading the fight against extremism.
Dr Hamad Al Shaibani, managing director of the International Institute for Tolerance, said intolerance and discrimination create a breeding ground for extremism and fanaticism and their consequences need to be addressed.
Speaking in Dubai on Monday, Dr Al Shaibani said: “Wars and famines resulted from intolerance and fanaticism across worldwide communities.
“Promotion of the culture of tolerance is key to the elimination of worldwide conflict. The UAE is the first country to establish a ministry for tolerance,” he said.
The World Tolerance Summit will be held in November to inform policies and brainstorm solutions to address radicalism.
“Government and private sector leaders, human rights activists, society studies experts and social media influencers will be hosted at the two-day summit to exchange topics and come up with binding resolutions for societies worldwide,” Dr Al Shaibani said.
When asked about the reason for hosting the summit in the Middle East – a region blighted by the consequences of wars, Dr Al Shaibani said: “Tolerance is a concept that incorporates other values, specifically the human ones. The issues of fanaticism and not accepting the other need to be highlighted and examined.”
He said the UAE was the perfect place to host the summit since it has proven itself as a tolerant country capable of hosting a multinational society which happily coexists.
“Our country is at the forefront of combating terrorism by using measures from internationally recognised experts,” he said.
Last year’s annual Arab Youth Survey revealed that unemployment and extremism were regarded as the greatest challenges to the region.
Because extremist ideologies thrive in societies with the largest number of young people, experts at the summit will focus on youth involvement in educational institutes and the empowerment of women.