Hindu temple reinforces guiding vision of tolerance and harmony of UAE’s founding fathers

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks during the World Government Summit in Dubai, United Arab Emirates February 11, 2018. REUTERS/Christopher Pike
Updated 11 February 2018
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Hindu temple reinforces guiding vision of tolerance and harmony of UAE’s founding fathers

DUBAI: BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha was invited to design, construct and manage the Abu Dhabi Hindu temple by the rulers of the UAE and the government of India.
“Especially in the 21st century, when the world is fragmenting for frivolous reasons, this timely noble gesture creates hope for unity in diversity. It reinforces the guiding vision of tolerance and harmony of the founding fathers of the UAE,” said Sadhu Brahmaviharidas, the chief spokesperson of BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha.
In his press statement, Brahmaviharidas said that the temple would be the first traditional stone temple in the Middle East. “It will be built at Abu Mureikhah, off the Dubai-Abu Dhabi Highway, and will incorporate all aspects and features of a traditional Hindu temple as part of a fully functional, social, cultural and spiritual complex.
The stones will be carved by temple artisans in India and assembled in the UAE. Expected to be completed by 2020, it will also include a visitors’ center, prayer halls, exhibition and learning areas, a sports area for children and youths, thematic gardens, water features, a food court, a books and gift shop and other facilities.
There are few small Hindu temples in Dubai, but this is going to be the first in Abu Dhabi. A total 10 acres of land has been given to the temple construction.
The Abu Dhabi Hindu temple will be managed and constructed by BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha, which has already constructed and managed more than 1,200 temples across the world including India, the UK, the USA, Canada, Australia and Africa.
“Open to people of all beliefs and backgrounds, races and religions, this traditional temple will be a part of the UAE’s mission of happiness and harmony by helping to foster love, tolerance, understanding and peaceful coexistence. It will facilitate the traditional practice of the Hindu faith and serve the over 3.3 million Indians residing in, and the millions of international tourists annually visiting the UAE through interfaith dialogue, pluralism and universal human values. It will also nurture the children of today and future generations toward a brighter future.”
“Moreover, as a landmark addition to the UAE skyline, the temple will become a beacon of beauty, an oasis of peace, an ocean of spirituality and a home of harmony — a global symbol of faith and friendship.”
M.P. Solanki, a civil engineer by profession and committee member of BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha in the UAE, said it’s a dream come true. “I have been living in UAE for over 42 years. We were dreaming to have a proper Mandir in the UAE, but it took decades to make this dream a reality. Only Modi can do this. Indians in the UAE are grateful to Modi ji as well as the rulers of the UAE for giving us a place of worship,” he said.


Turkey launches air strike on Iraqi Kurdistan after killing of diplomat

Updated 19 July 2019
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Turkey launches air strike on Iraqi Kurdistan after killing of diplomat

  • Turkish vice consul to Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish region was shot dead Wednesday in the local capital Irbil
  • Turkish separatist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) is suspected to be involved in the killing

ANKARA: Turkey on Thursday launched an air attack on Iraqi Kurdistan in response to the killing of a Turkish diplomat in the region, the country’s defense minister said.
The Turkish vice consul to Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish region was shot dead Wednesday in the local capital Irbil. Police sources said two other people were also killed.
There was no claim of responsibility for the shooting, but many Iraqi experts have pointed to the probability that the Turkish separatist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which Ankara considers a terrorist group, was behind the attack.
“Following the evil attack in Irbil, we have launched the most comprehensive air operation on Qandil and dealt a heavy blow to the (PKK) terror organization,” defense minister Hulusi Akar said in a statement.
Targets such as “armaments positions, lodgings, shelters and caves belonging to terrorists” were destroyed.
“Our fight against terror will continue with increasing determination until the last terrorist is neutralized and the blood of our martyrs will be avenged,” he added.
The Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), which now leads the regional government, enjoys good political and trade relations with Turkey.
But Turkey has been conducting a ground offensive and bombing campaign since May in the mountainous northern region to root out the PKK which has waged an insurgency against the Turkish state since 1984.
Earlier this month, the PKK announced that one of those raids killed senior PKK leader Diyar Gharib Mohammed along with two other fighters.
A spokesman for the PKK’s armed branch denied the group was involved in Wednesday’s shooting.