DUBAI, (Pakistan Point News - 18th Nov, 2019) As part of the events organised by the General Secretariat of the Arab League, in cooperation with the Dubai Press Club and the Watani Al Emarat Foundation, a workshop entitled, "The Role of Media in Promoting Central Religious Discourse and Combatting Terrorism," took place today.
The meetings, running until 19 November, will discuss a number of critical issues that affect the region’s development and the wellbeing of its communities.
During the workshop, the UAE, Egypt and Iraq, along with the Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organisation, ALECSO, presented four working papers on countering terrorism, renouncing hatred and incitement, promoting central religious discourse, and reinforcing the positive role of the media in confronting this threat that targets communities and peoples.
Presented under the title, "How the UAE established a culture of tolerance within its society and among its citizens and residents," the UAE’s working paper reviewed the country’s experience in spreading and promoting a unique culture of tolerance, and transforming its leadership of cultural diversity into an opportunity to build bridges of affection and harmony among its different peoples, nationalities and cultures.
In his presentation, Director General of Watani Al Emarat Foundation, Dherar Belhoul Al Falasi, said that the UAE’s leadership has established the concepts of tolerance, through its close relationship with members of society who love their rulers and desire to emulate them as role models.
He added that, from the start, the state has adopted a religious discourse that promotes a culture of tolerance among its people at the centre of its legislation, in accordance with the teachings of the Islamic religion.
He also spoke about the UAE’s strong and flexible legislative and legal system, and its ability to protect and promote the values of tolerance through a set of laws derived from the country’s constitution, referring to Law No. 2 for 2015 that criminalises acts of contempt against religions and holy sites, combats all forms of discrimination and rejects hate speech.
Al Falasi explained that balanced media discourse is a key outcome of political, economic, social, religious or cultural moderation, adding that all Emirati media outlets follow a balanced approach that respects the culture of the community and the minds of their audience.
He then highlighted the UAE's local and international role in promoting the values of tolerance, noting that it was the first country to launch a Ministry of Tolerance, and the first Arab country to sign the Declaration of Principles on Tolerance adopted by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, UNESCO, in 1995.
The UAE also declared 2019 as the Year of Tolerance, established the International Institute for Tolerance, and launched the Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid International Tolerance Award, which have reinforced national efforts and transformed tolerance from a social value into institutional action.