“Many leaders don’t know and don’t understand the true face of Islam and they interpret it in a rather different way” – Ebtisam Al Ketbi

During her speech at the third meeting of the Strategic Vision Group “Russia – Islamic World” in Chechen capital Grozny, Ebtisam Al Ketbi, head of the Emirates Policy Centre said that “many leaders don’t know and don’t understand the true face of Islam and they interpret it in a rather different way”.

Thank you Mr. Ambassador for the invitation to participate in this meeting.
Good evening, everyone.
Now the Islamic world is going through very tough experiences which are unprecedented. Islamofobia is a serious challenge. Among other challenges are contradictions and fratricidal wars within the Islamic world.
The crises and catastrophes that are taking place in the Middle East and the Islamic world may develop into interstate conflicts. Under such circumstances we have to stop those wars that are taking place in Syria, Iraq, and other hot spots of the Islamic world.
As to the Emirates, we consider it as an example of cooperation between Russia and the Arab countries. We cooperate on many issues, and our ties can be an example in many aspects. In many cases the Emirates and Russia share the same views and common approaches to the current processes in the Middle East, and to the problem of terrorism in particular. The youth of our countries are willing to cooperate.
The fears of radical Islam have appeared due to the fact that many leaders don’t know and don’t understand the true face of Islam and they interpret it in a rather different way.
Neither in the old days, nor now are there any differences between Emirates and Russia. Sure we have different approaches, towards the situation in Syria, for example. Nevertheless, it is not a barrier to our cooperation. There are three main priorities which we should follow.
First of all, we should pursue our policy without any interference on the basis of respect for the sovereignty of all countries.
Secondly, we should fight against terrorism and religious extremism. And thirdly, we should also seek to develop our economic relations since it helps to settle various political conflicts. We
are strengthening our relations with Russia in these three aspects.
Moscow and Abu Dhabi share common views on the meaning of the fight against terrorism and effective work aimed to stop conflicts and reduce tensions.
From this perspective, Russia and Chechnya pursue a policy to reduce international tension, the threat of terrorism and extremism, a policy based on decisions and resolutions of the UN and its Security Council. We reject terrorism regardless of the religion. We say that terrorism is not linked with any religion or nationality.
On the contrary, Islam seeks to strengthen love and friendship between nations.
Our countries constantly stress that Islam is a religion of love and tolerance and the Emirates is one of those countries that was one of the first that warned of the danger of terrorism. We held a seminar on security issues and threats to Islam. And as a result of this seminar, we published a book dedicated to this issue. We warned before and we keep saying how dangerous organized terrorist groups are. We are against the creation of armed groups working for a particular faith or particular religious sects.
The Emirates highly appreciates Russia’s role as the Great Christian state first of all.
We see that Russia is pursuing a policy aimed to spread the ideas of moderation and tolerance between religions. There are Christian communities in our region that live in peace and harmony with Muslims in our country in particular. This reveals a similarity of our approaches, besides we are developing economic relations between our countries. In the first decade of the new century, large Russian companies launched extensive activities in our country. The Emirates is a very attractive market for Russia.
In conclusion, I’ll say that the Emirates in its positive and fruitful relations with Russia is the example of proper relations between Russia and an Islamic state. And these relations are becoming strategically important.