Abu Dhabi: Shaikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance, on Monday held a luncheon for a delegation from the Catholic University of Paris.
In an address, Shaikh Nahyan reflected on the legacy of the late Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, adding that it was "particularly instructive" to the UAE's citizens.
He went on to say that the Founding Father "fostered a spirit of tolerance that has enabled us to welcome the world to our new nation."
Noting how the UAE has become a global crossroads with a diverse population of approximately 10 million individuals representing 200 different countries, he said: "Tolerance has worked to everyone's advantage."
"It has bridged the gaps inherent in diversity, and the diverse elements of our population cross those bridges daily."
Shaikh Nahyan said that the nation encourages people of all faiths to practice their religions openly.
"Along with a wide range of mosques, you will find churches, temples, and other places of worship as you travel throughout the UAE," he continued.
"Our attitude toward the world's various religious faiths affects the vision of the UAE. Our vision is a global vision because our country is a global society. We want our global community to prosper, not perish."
The Minister of Tolerance explained that, under the leadership of President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Federal Decree Law No 2 of 2015 on Combating Discrimination and Hatred was issued with the aim of protecting individuals or groups from discrimination based on religion, creed, doctrine, sect, caste, race, colour, or ethnic origin.
"The law very strictly criminalises acts that either exhibit religious hatred or insult religion through any form of expression," he stressed.
"We intend to continue advancing and strengthening the respectful understanding of the many diverse cultural, ethnic, religious, and socio-economic constituents of the UAE population," Shaikh Nahyan concluded.