Why the United Arab Emirates created the first global Minister for Tolerance

The wealthy, but tiny Gulf state United Arab Emirates (UAE) does not only have the highest building in the world, but as well a visionary leader:

Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. He serves as the ruler of Dubai, Vice-President and Premier Minister of UAE.

In February 2015 he appointed a new cabinet with 29 members, including seven young women, with three modern ministries.

Al Maktoum explained:

“The new appointed ministers will drive policy to create social good and satisfaction. We have now more ministers capable of dealing with change. We want a young and flexible government that will fulfil our youth’s aspirations and achieve our people’s ambitions.”

He announced three new ministries and an influential Youth Council, you hardly can find in any other of the 193 states on earth:

A Minister of State for Tolerance will “inculcate tolerance as a fundamental value in the UAE.” Appointed was Shaikha Lubna Al Qasimi.

In Juni 2016 the cabinet published a first National Tolerance Program. In this important paper the country leadership stated:

  • „The UAE and its leadership and people are a melting pot of tolerance, cohesion, respect and acceptance of others. Tolerance is one of the core values of the UAE society which derives it from the „middleness“ of Islam, from the noble Arabian traditions and the heritage and also from the wisdom and legacy of the late founding father, Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan.“
  • The National Tolerance Program, led by the Minister of State for Tolerance, will work to promote these values and develop the structures that ensure their sustainability under a wise leadership that believes in nurturing the human being and humanity at large.“

The program quotes three important leaders, promoting tolerance:

  •  The founding father Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the president from 1971 until 2004: Muslims and intolerance? This is quite strange! A good believer should be merciful and tolerant. Only the hard hearted can be ruthless.
  • His son, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, since November 2004 the new president and ruler of Abu Dhabi: „The United Arab Emirates is based on well established, time-honored values that seek to promote the country’s relations on the basis of mutual respect, dialogue, cooperation and renouncing all forms of terrorism, violence and fanatism.“
  • Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum: There is no future for this region without intellectual restructuring that consolidates the values of tolerance, pluralism and acceptance of others intellectually, culturally and in terms of sect and religion.“

Read more about the the UAE National Tolerance Agenda.

More information in United Arab Emirates created new Ministers for Tolerance

Photo: Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, the Minister of Culture, Youth, and Social Development in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), welcomes Dr Hubertus Hoffmann, founder of The Global Tolerance Initiative, in his palace in Abu Dhabi.