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THE Ultimate Provider of Peace (Al-Salaam) is one of the attributes of Almighty Allah. Whoever spreads peace among people will be rewarded for this good deed.
It was imperative to contextualize the essence of peace and tolerance which are based on brotherhood between partners in humanity after the extremist groups smeared with mud the essence of Abrahamic religions which is based on fraternity between humans for the sake of their wellbeing and progress, and to protect them from evil.
Based on this, His Highness the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan’s invitation to the head of the Roman Catholic Church in the world, Pope Francis, to visit the United Arab Emirates came to break the psychological barrier of dialogue between followers of Abrahamic religions.
Among the most important results of this visit was the signing of the “Document on Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together,” and the order to build the Abrahamic Family House.
The Pope’s visit to the Arabian Peninsula is one of a kind for a pope to be in this area which is close to the cradle of Abrahamic religions, considering the region has been portrayed for decades as against coexisting with partners in humanity. Hence, the meeting between Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Dr Ahmed At-Tayyeb and Pope Francis took place in a timely manner to reiterate that the essence of proper Islam and Christianity is based on the principle, “God is love”.
UAE’s government dubbed the current year as “Year of Tolerance.” Therefore, it was not possible to interpret this title without having the base on which dialogue was built through the “Humanity Fraternity Conference.” The conference was held in Sheikh Zayed Mosque where His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum also presented the first “Human Fraternity Award From Dar Zayed” that was jointly given to Pope Francis and the Grand Imam.
This is a genuine initiative reflecting the level of work in making the world less violent and more peaceful by removing obstacles on the path towards peace among humans.
This civilized initiative came at a time the countries in the region continue to shelter and support terrorist groups striving to divide communities by instigating sectarian tension through groups which feed on terrorism, such as the groups associated with Iran, Brotherhood, ISIL or al-Qaeda.
This meeting brought together members of the three Abrahamic religions, in addition to members of other religions in this world. It was crystallized through the speech of Sheikh At-Tayyeb who explained clearly the concept of evil that the world is living with.
Sheikh At-Tayyeb affirmed that all divine religions are innocent of all armed movements and groups which are called ‘terrorism’” in the current world irrespective of the religion, ideology or victims, or even places where it is being exercised and the horrific crimes committed by its members. They are all murderers and killers. They are transgressing the divine messages.
This innocence from terrorism was the main title of those who gathered in Abu Dhabi. Pope Francis affirmed in this historic gathering: “We are waiting for it to bear fruits in the future” – more dialogues, meetings and bonding between mankind.
The historic meeting with the head of the Roman Catholic Church in the United Arab Emirates and the hosting of mass at Zayed Sports City Stadium where more than 180,000 people attended were the determinants in every thing produced by the engine of extremism over the past decades.
With it, the series of hatred (foam), interpreted in crimes against members of other religions, proved to have been blown by the wind. What remains is the essence which all of humanity share.
Almighty Allah says: “… The foam disappears but what is profitable to the human being stays in the land …” Today, what is beneficial to the people is peace – one of the attributes of Almighty Allah.
This historic visit will be remembered by generations as the concept of making tolerance through action and words. They will remember how humanity can come together in the ‘Abrahamic Family Home’ if the leaders facilitate it – from Muhammad bin Zayed and Muhammad bin Rashid who are striving towards the future based on fraternity because the alternative path is total destruction produced by humanity in terms of civilization.
Therefore, we quote over and over again what Isa (Jesus), Peace be Upon Him, said: “Blessed are the peacemakers”.
By Ahmed Al-Jarallah
Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times