Arab League chief: Combat hate by teaching children inclusivity

Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit. (AP)
Updated 04 February 2019
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Arab League chief: Combat hate by teaching children inclusivity

  • Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit spoke during the Human Fraternity Conference in Abu Dhabi on Sunday
  • The conference marked the start of the UAE’s “Year of Tolerance” celebration

ABU DHABI: The growing level of intolerance in the world needs to be combatted by teaching children to be more inclusive, Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit said on Sunday.

Speaking at the Human Fraternity Conference in the UAE capital Abu Dhabi, Aboul Gheit said the conference was happening “in the right place at the right time.”

He added: “There is no more important value today than tolerance, as sectarianism and racism rear their ugly heads all over the world.”

Extremism and hatred are expressed mostly through religion and politics, resulting in wars that have “nothing to do with religion,” he said.

Aboul Gheit suggested introducing the concept of tolerance in school curriculums. “We must grow up learning about and from other religions and faiths to raise our understanding,” he said.

The Human Fraternity Conference marks the start of the UAE’s “Year of Tolerance,” which is aimed at promoting dialogue between nations and faiths.

The visit by Pope Francis, who arrived in Abu Dhabi on Sunday night, is the first by a pontiff in the Arabian Peninsula.

In his opening remarks, Emirati Minister of Tolerance Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al-Nahyan said the pope’s involvement in the conference was a true reflection of the “power of tolerance and human fraternity.”

Al-Nayhan added: “It is my aspiration that this conference and its outcomes will be known as a landmark event improving global relations.” 

The pope and Al-Azhar’s Grand Imam Sheikh Ahmad El-Tayeb “are global forces for compassion and peace,” said Al-Nahyan. 

“Their participation in this conference speaks eloquently on the power of tolerance and human fraternity.”

He said the conference was a multicultural event that encouraged compassion, respect and understanding among different communities, cultures and religions.

“The gathering enables us to counter extremism, prejudice, hate, aggression, greed and oppression that violate the very idea of human fraternity,” he added.

It is necessary to combat “the destructive forces of extremism, terrorism, poverty, degradation of women, environmental abuse, illiteracy and prejudice,” Al-Nahyan said.

Speaking at a press conference later, Dr. Sultan Faisal Al-Remeithi, secretary-general of the Muslim Council of Elders, said the event included more than 10 religious sects.

“It (the conference) carries a real message about peace in the world by introducing a concept that all of us are keen to implement,” he said.

The pope’s visit falls under the UAE’s strategy of being a country that hosts 200 nationalities and a multitude of faiths and beliefs, Al-Remeithi added.


More than 85 Houthis killed in battles across Yemen

Updated 17 February 2019
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More than 85 Houthis killed in battles across Yemen

  • More than 40 militants were killed in the southern Taiz province, and 18 others were killed on the Damt front in the southern Ad Dali province
  • Scores of militants were wounded, while the army seized military-grade equipment and ammunition.

DUBAI: More than 85 Iran-backed Houthi militants were killed and more wounded in clashes with the Yemeni army supported by the Arab Coalition across the country on Saturday, Saudi state-news agency SPA reported.

According to the reports, more than 40 militants were killed in the southern Taiz province, and 18 others were killed on the Damt front in the southern Ad Dali province, while more than 30 were killed in clashes with the Hajour tribe northwest of the country.

Scores of militants were wounded, while the army seized military-grade equipment and ammunition.

Meanwhile, Yemen’ Deputy Foreign Minister Mohammad al-Hadrami said that the continued conflict stirred by the Houthis threatens the Swedish peace agreement and any progress in the political process.

In a meeting with UAE’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Dr. Anwar Gargash on the sidelines of the 55th session of the Munich Conference of Security 2019, Al-Hadrami said that the continued Houthi manipulation represents the failed opportunities for peace in Yemen.

For his part, UAE’s Gargash stressed on the need to combine efforts and send clear messages to the international community revealing the truth behind the militia’s violations on the ground.