Orlando Shooting Shows Islam Has Been ‘Hijacked by ISIS’, UAE Tolerance Minister Says
Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi, the United Arab Emirates’s minister for tolerance, says the Islamic State has “taken the world by surprise.” Now, she says, the global community must work together to confront and fight terrorism.
Speaking at the Fortune Most Powerful Women International Summit in London on Tuesday, Al Qasimi told attendees that the Orlando shooting shows that Islam has been “hijacked by ISIS.”
To combat terrorism, she said, countries need to collaborate: “We need to wake up. We can’t do it alone, and neither can the U.S.”
Al Qasimi, who was formerly the UAE’s minister of international cooperation and development, has been working on bolstering global coordination by attending interfaith meetings throughout Europe. She recently traveled to Copenhagen to participate in a dialogue with Christians, Muslims and Jews. She also went to Rome to meet with Pope Francis.
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Aside from her personal efforts, she said there are key organizations in the UAE that are working on the issue: Hedayah, a global center whose aim is to counter violent extremism, and the Sawab Center, which was launched in conjunction with the U.S. last year. Sawab’s mission is to build up a network of people “willing to speak out” against terrorism, according to the State Department.
When Al Qasimi was appointed to the unusual position of minister for tolerance in February, the UAE also announced ministers for happiness and youth. She said the three new ministries at first “raised a lot of eyebrows” since such departments are usually “there to serve the people,” as opposed to being “value driven.” But she still holds the post, and the two other positions are held by women as well.