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Aden - Yasmine El Tohamy - The three-day Abu Dhabi forum saw the exchange of ideas which will culminate in the 'Alliance of Virtue Charter'.
Tolerance is a virtue that can end differences and ensure peace in the world, religious leaders and politicians said in Abu Dhabi on Monday. More than 1,000 advocates of peace and tolerance gathered for the sixth annual Assembly of the Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies held under the patronage of Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.
The three-day Abu Dhabi forum under the title 'The role of religion in promoting tolerance: From possibility to necessity' saw exchange of ideas which will culminate in the 'Alliance of Virtue Charter' to be launched on Tuesday.
Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance, opened the forum and stressed on the cohesion between leaders to find solutions to the problems that world suffers from. "We in the UAE believe that tolerance is the highest embodiment of Islamic ideals. Tolerance is living in peace with others and respecting their beliefs. It helps develop positive relations between people. It is an expression of self-confidence. I hope this forum becomes a platform for new partnerships."
Shaykh Abdallah bin Bayyah, Chairman of the UAE Fatwa Council and President of the Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies in the UAE, said the 'Year of Tolerance' is not an end but start of an "unstoppable march" to spread the word of peace, coexistence and cooperation in the world.
"There is a need to not just acknowledge each other but to know each other. This forum is an important call to know one another. Let us open our minds and understand. We are all passengers of the same ship. We cannot survive if we forget about each other. Coexistence and cooperation complement each other. We must enhance meanings and principles of cooperation and goodness," Shaykh Abdallah said in his framework speech.
'It is a necessity'
Vice-President of Nigeria Yemi Osinbajo in his keynote address said it's the responsibility of leaders to put words into action for a peaceful and tolerant world.
"If we are to prevent an endless cycle of strife and conflicts, then tolerance is a necessity. Religious leaders and politicians should illuminate new pathways to a shared future. Leaders must make personal sacrifices that will compel our societies to commit themselves to tolerance. That's the difficult part," Osinbajo said. "Tolerance is fundamental to all communal and interpersonal relationships. If extremists practice demonisation of differences, then we must prefer idolisation of diversity."
Muhammad bin Abdul Karim Issa, Secretary-General of the Muslim World League, Saudi Arabia, said: "Tolerance starts with open-mindedness and embracing differences. All of us working on international problems should broaden and open their minds towards other."
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