King Hamad calls for staving off sectarianism

Measures should be taken to ensure moderation and tolerance Caption: King Hamad chairing the cabinet session. Prince Khalifa Bin Salman Al Khalifa, the Prime Minister, is on his right and Crown Prince Salman Bin Hamad Al Khalifa is on his left – BNA Manama: Moderation and mutual acceptance should be promoted in Bahrain as the

Measures should be taken to ensure moderation and tolerance

  • Caption: King Hamad chairing the cabinet session. Prince Khalifa Bin Salman Al Khalifa, the Prime Minister, is on his right and Crown Prince Salman Bin Hamad Al Khalifa is on his left – BNA

Manama: Moderation and mutual acceptance should be promoted in Bahrain as the only way forward to fend off sectarianism and reinforce rich diversity, King Hamad Bin Eisa Al Khalifa has said.

“There is no other alternative but co-existence and acceptance of the other as Bahrain is a country for all people,” King Hamad said as he chaired the weekly cabinet meeting.

Popular participation, freedom of expression and protection of human rights should be the catalysts for all national powers to move ahead with development progress and preserve hard-won achievements, he said, Bahrain News Agency (BNA) reported.

King Hamad said community, political and religious leaders as well as the media should focus on calls to reject hatred, renounce violence, foster stability and contribute to the Kingdom’s development.

They should refer to the history of Bahrain’s rich cultural values of tolerance, love, and respect, he added at the session on Sunday.

“We are confident that popular awareness will triumph and everybody will assume his responsibility in promoting the culture of national unity, renouncing violence and terror and making the consolidation of national cohesion a top priority,” he said.

King Hamad, who succeeded his father in March 1999, stressed the importance of establishing tolerance as a key element in resolving problems, instilling its values and using it in civil and social practices.

Tolerance and care should be adopted as a principle in resolving disputes and facing challenges on the national, Islamic and international fronts, he said.

It is the most significant value in peace and reconciliation, and the international community should build the appropriate atmosphere to eliminate intolerance, extremism and hatred, he said.

King Hamad stressed “the necessity to protect democracy and preserve an atmosphere of co-existence, moderation, and acceptance of others,” considered as Bahrain’s long-established hallmarks.

They warrant adopting precautionary measures to “deal firmly with the attempts to spread by various means animosity, sectarian polarisation and fanaticism”.

The measures will uphold the cohesion of the community in Bahrain and will protect its members from the messages of those who fuel hatred and divisions by rejecting others.

“These messages are unfortunately being disseminated by people speaking from religious platforms, with some media, social and political organisations having a role in them,” King Hamad said.

The king urged the government to adopt “effective strategies to stop extremism by spreading a culture of moderation and ensuring issues raised from religious and other platforms are in alignment with the legitimacy and national values accepted by the people of Bahrain and its leadership and upon which the National Action Charter was based”.

King Hamad said that “throughout its history Bahrain has faced extremely hard challenges with great courage, and acted as a model of inspiration in its ability to reject choosing violence”.

“In order to develop the Kingdom, the nation has chosen to resolve challenges in a civil manner based on the pillars of dialogue and tolerance that are inspired from its history built on compassion, co-existence and multiculturalism that have placed national unity and human interdependence above narrow exclusionary affiliations,” he said.

King Hamad said that he looked forward to a new year filled with more achievements and prosperous times within a safe and stable environment that will be achieved thanks to conjugated efforts for the renunciation of violence and the promotion of coexistence and compassion.

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