HEADLINES:
Turkish Boeing 747 cargo plane crashes in kyrgyzstan with 37 onboard; all killed । Astronaut Gene Cernan, 82, the last man to walk on moon, passes away । India marks Army Day President, Prime Minister and Defence Minister greet the Army । Army Chief Gen Bipin Rawat takes salute at the impressive Army Day Parade । Gen Rawat says India wants peace but if attempts are made to disrupt it, then “we will display our power” । He says emphasis is on newer technology weapons and systems for the Army । Space connectivity is also high on Army’s agenda । This is the 69th Army Day, marking the time when an Indian Chief, Gen KM Cariappa took over the command after Independence । Indian Navy launches its second Kalvari class submarine INS Khanderi in Mumbai । India Strategic wishes all its readers and viewers a very Happy New Year । India successfully test fires Agni 5 long range missile | IAF gets Government approval for one more C 17 strategic Lift aircraft | IAF has got 10 C 17s, but had initially planned for more than 20 | Lack of timely approval made IAF slash figure to three but by then Boeing closed factory | IAF will get the last one in production | Syrian government of President Assad takes full control of Aleppo | Lt Gen Bipin Rawat appointed the next Army Chief and Air Marshal BS Dhanoa the Air Chief | The appointments are effective December 31 afternoon | Both are Vice Chiefs of Staff at present in their respective Services | 48 killed in a PIA ATR-42 aircraft crash in Pakistan | The twin-engine propellor aircraft was on way from Chitral to Islamabad | India marks Navy Day | Prime Minister Narendra Modi greets all Navy personnel, and salutes their bravery on Indian Navy annual day | PM Modi, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani jointly inaugurate Heart of Asia Ministerial Conference at Amritsar (India) Dec 4 | Need of the hour is to identify terrorism and bring stability in the region, says PM Modi | India’s commitment to Afghan is absolute, Mr Modi said addressing 6th HoA Ministerial Conf | Afgan Prez accused Pakistan of sheltering terror, and thanked India of financial aid | HoA Conf began at Amritsar Dec 3 | INS Vikrant likely to be operational in 2018 | Vikrant to operate both Russian MiG-29K and Western origin Aircraft | Indian Navy to mark 2017 as the year of submarine: Adm Lanba | Gujarat-cadre officer Rakesh Asthana to take over as CBI Director after Anil Sinha, who retires Dec 2 | Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa is Pakistan’s new army chief | Gen Bajwa took over from Gen Raheel Sharif Nov 29 | The outgoing chief stressed all should work together “against external and internathreats” | Plane carrying Brazilian football team crashes in Colombia | Cuba’s revolutionary leader Fidel Castro dies. He was 90. | Castro had challenged the US might and invited Soviet presence next door to the US | US-Cuban relations have normalized now after half a century | Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar Commissions INS Chennai into Indian Navy Nov 21 | INS Chennai is a Project 15A Guided Missile Destroyer | This is the 3rd and last ‘Kolkata’ class destroyer indigenously designed by DND and constructed by MDL, Mumbai | India successfully tests nuclear capable Prithvi-II missile in Odisha | India becomes associate member of European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), Geneva | Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar inducts four Indigenous Naval Systems | The 4 Indigenous Naval Systems – ABHAY, HUMSA UG, NACS and AIDSS – were indigenously developed by DRDO | These Indigenous Naval Systems will boost underwater surveillance capability of the Indian Navy | India, Japan sign Civil Nuclear Deal | The Deal signed during PM Narendra Modi’s visit to Japan Nov 10-11 | With this Deal, Japan is able to export N-technology to India for peaceful uses | PM Modi calls the Deal “a historic step to build a clean energy partnership between India, Japan” |
January 17, 2017
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Countering Violent Extremism: The UAE’s commitment

Published: September 2016
 

Abu Dhabi. While the United Arab Emirates, together with its allies around the world, continues to engage actively in the global struggle against extremism and terrorism, there is still much to be done to identify the best ways of tackling the problem, according to Maqsoud Kruse, the Executive Director of Hedayah, the Abu Dhabi-based International Centre of Excellence for Countering Violent Extremism, CVE.
“To be realistic and frank,” he says, “we are still in need of systematic approaches to further understand the complexity of the phenomena of violent extremism.”
Only then, he says, will it be possible to develop “effective, tested and proven interventions which, once tested and proven, can emerge as a ‘good’ practice’ that is both ‘valid’ and ‘reliable’.”
As part of its work, Hedayah is now into its second year of an expanding Global Programme on the Development of National CVE Strategies. Part of this involves recognition that the drivers that contribute to the spread of extremism can be different in each country.
The National Strategies, Kruse says, must be long term and inclusive. “We have learned that we need to shift our thinking from focusing on the problem towards focusing on solutions by providing the platform for generating ideas that can provide creative, innovative, and authentic interventions.”
Kruse adds, “Take the UAE as an example of a “Multi-Axiom” national strategy that takes into consideration the development of the legal infrastructure to counter extremism; the important role of education; the promotion of tolerance, happiness and youth engagement; and the positive role of families, women, culture and religious moderation.”
In pursuit of this objective, Hedayah has built partnerships with governments, existing international and regional training centres and think tanks, relevant academic and research institutions and multilateral organisations, as well as CVE experts and relevant private sector and non-governmental organisations from around the world.
Officials note that besides Hedayah, the UAE has also been engaged in the launching of two other international initiatives designed to counter violent extremism, with a particular focus on the situation within the region.
One is the Sawab Centre, launched jointly with the United States, which is the first-ever multi-national online messaging and engagement programme in support of the Global Coalition Against Daesh.
Another is The Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies that had as one of its key deliverables the establishment of the Muslim Council of Elders, an independent international body which brings together leading scholars to promote an accurate understanding of the message of Islam and the real nature of the tolerance that lies at its heart.
One of its significant outcomes is the “Marrakesh Declaration”, which is based on the historic revival of the objectives and aims of the “Charter of Medina”, which was declared by the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) and provides insights about the rights of religious minorities in Muslim lands, both in theory and practice.
While the struggle against extremism is one that spans the globe, it is one that is of particular concern to the United Arab Emirates.
As the UAE Ambassador to the United States, Yousuf Al Otaiba, noted in an article a few days ago to mark the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the United States, “In the Middle East, in the heart of the Arab world, we face an existential threat from extremism. Our communities, our families, our livelihoods, our entire way of life are exposed and under constant attack.”
“In the UAE,” Al Otaiba noted, “we are advancing moderation in both our schools and places of worship. Our education system is built to reinforce Islam’s true values based on dialogue, tolerance, moderation, and peace. And in our mosques, we are modernising the way Islam is taught, developing new training programmes for imams and updating Quranic commentaries.”
Another aspect of this policy is the determination of the UAE Government to promote and sustain the climate of religious tolerance and co-existence to be found in the Emirates. While the UAE is a Muslim country, the freedom to worship is guaranteed by the UAE Constitution and there are currently over 40 churches serving Christian expatriates, as well as temples for the Hindu and Sikh communities.
The commitment to religious tolerance and dialogue, as well as the underlying nature of the true values of Islam, is frequently emphasised by leading government officials. For example, the UAE has enacted the Anti-Discriminatory Law, issued following a decree by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, that criminalises any acts that stoke religious hatred or which insult religion through any form of expression.
Endorsement of these views has come recently from Pope Francis, the leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics, who recently said, “I don’t think it is right to identify Islam with violence. This is not just and it is not true.”
Those who seek to pervert religion to promote violence should be condemned, the Pope has said, noting that “any violence which seeks religious justification warrants the strongest condemnation.”
Courtesy: Emirates News Agency, WAM

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