Address by the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the International Institute for Tolerance

Since 2019 is announced the Year of Tolerance in the UAE, I am very pleased to say that I am so honored and proud of the outstanding role model that our beloved country sets for tolerance, influential diversity, coexistence and cross-cultural acquaintance. The UAE is a pioneering country that affirms that coexistence, acquaintance and dialogue between individuals and groups of different beliefs, cultures and backgrounds, will definitely lead to a better, more peaceful, prosperous world that has the good for everyone.

The history of our country is a vivid embodiment of the role of our enlightened leadership, who adopt all necessary approaches and uses all tools to bring peace, understanding and stability to our nation as well as the world. The journey and achievements of the founder of our country, the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan (may his soul rest in peace) and the pure values and noble principles within, in all of its aspects, have constantly been an assertion of the firm belief that tolerance and coexistence amongst diverse groups represent a dedication to and a celebration of the values ​​and principles that people share everywhere, and that good communication between different groups and cultures is a noble human behavior that contributes to building productive relationships all over the world.

It is no surprise that the UAE is at the forefront of all nations in the world. It is the confluence where people from different backgrounds coexist, live in harmony, and work together to achieve welfare and prosperity for individuals, society and the world.

We praise the Almighty Allah for that the UAE leaders are guided by the vision of the late Sheikh Zayed, which had a great influence on achieving remarkable economic and social developments, leading to a multitude of opportunities for every resident of UAE to work productively and contribute to a lasting advancement.

His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, believes that coexistence and tolerance are definitive ways to combat ignorance and are important tools for achieving peace and harmony in any human society. Even more, His Highness believes that coexistence and tolerance are two crucial components in UAE’s quest to be a successful country by all standards.

UAE is a country that has its well-deserved position in the global development arena, where interests and benefits overlap and where relationships are built on trust, cooperation and mutual respect. Also, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai, and his brother, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and their brothers, Their Highnesses the members of the Federal Supreme Council and Rulers of the Emirates, all share and support the vision of His Highness, the President of the UAE in this matter, and they all affirm by words and by actions that we are living in an era, where coexistence and tolerance are essential to advance this world. This era, where information and communication technologies dominate, and international travel is easier than ever, requires dedicated and sincere endeavors from us to build bridges of understanding, coexistence and open dialogue among us all.

The International Institute for Tolerance, in the Year of Tolerance, reaffirms its full commitment to a set of values and principles which entirely constitute the elements of the genuine human behavior. That includes:

1 – Respect and never criticize or underestimate privacy, beliefs, choices of other human beings;
2 - Accept diversity and differences of ideas and beliefs of other human beings, as long as there is no transgressions;
3 - Collaborate with all human beings for the greater good, and unite in the face of crises and challenges, regardless of beliefs and cultures when they are exercised moderately.
4. Build scientific and cultural partnerships with relevant institutions all over the world.

The International Institute for Tolerance, in the year of tolerance, pledges and undertakes to be the true leading global center for intellectual confluence, dialogue, education, awareness, research, exchange of experiences, positive interaction between cultures and open dialogue between religious scholars. The IIT genuinely pledges and undertakes to be an embodiment and a celebration of the unique civilizational, humanistic role model of the UAE that embraces peaceful coexistence, religious tolerance, cultural, civilizational open-mindedness, and to be a powerful mean for universalizing the qualities of this successful model in building a better future for humankind, and providing practical solutions to the problems facing society and people in a world of multi-cultures and diverse civilizations.

For all of that, the IIT always invokes the guide of our life, the Holy Quran, where it says that “there is no compulsion in religion,” and is inspired by the Almighty Allah saying in the Holy Quran: “O mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another.” All human beings descend from Adam and Eve. We share the same human characteristics and tendencies. We take much pride in that Islamic societies, over the course of history, have been diverse, polyphyletic societies, and that, the geniality of this faultless religion has made this diversity a source of good, creative force, and a source of an immortal regenerating civilization.

We praise the Almighty Allah, as He is who guides to the right way.

Sheikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan​

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