UAE’s anti-terror strategy made the country a model of moderation

Abu Dhabi:The UAE had realised early the dangers posed by terrorism and sought to fight it and support global efforts to eliminate it, a scholar said on Monday.

Shaikh Omar Habtoor Al Darei, Director of the Fatwa Department at the General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowment, told the audience at the majlis of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, that the UAE had sought to combat terrorism in accordance with a comprehensive strategy.

“The success of the UAE model and its adherence to moderate Islam derives from the vision of its Founding Father, the late Shaikh Zayed. The stability, tolerance and coexistence that the UAE is renowned for is the outcome of that sound vision and the efforts of the wise leadership and various national institutions,” Shaikh Al Darei said in a lecture themed: “Reclaiming Religion in the Age of Extremism”.

Shaikh Al Darei said these efforts have made the UAE a model of moderation, whose strong foundation helps to shut out any attempt to hijack Islam and undermine the country.

The speaker dealt with the repercussions of attempting to hijack Islam, its historical origins, its ideological roots and the strategy for reclaiming Islam in an age of extremism.

He stressed Islam is the religion of humanity, with high standards and noble values and teaches solidarity, tolerance, cooperation and restraint.

“Islam is under threat at various levels and the threat is more pervasive than in the past,” the scholar said.

He explained those seeking to hijack and distort Islam belong variously to terrorist groups, espouse a divisive ideology or attempt to spread the message of extremist and political Islam.

“All of these extremist groups have one goal in common — that of hijacking religion and undermining society and are a threat to its existence,” Al Darei said.

He examined the attempts by extremists to undermine education and religious discourse and exploit them for their evil ends.

Al Darei urged everyone to be on their guard and be vigilant whenever these extremists attempt to spread their perverted message.

He said these ideological challenges need to be monitored and dealt with proactively in order to reclaim religion and restore moderation, especially in the UAE, which is a shining example of moderation and tolerance.

“Moderation can only be restored if the extremists’ distorted concepts are replaced with teachings that spring from genuine, tolerant Islam,” Al Darei said.

The Ramadan series of lectures is part of Shaikh Mohammad’s efforts to spread the spirit of knowledge and learning in the UAE, by inviting renowned scholars, experts, officials and entrepreneurs to speak at his majlis at Al Bateen Palace in Abu Dhabi. The lectures are attended by senior government officials, diplomats, business leaders and others.


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