A document highlighting the importance of teaching interfaith understanding and tolerance to combat violent extremism has been published following the first regional follow-up conference to the Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom convened by the United Arab Emirates and the US State Department earlier this year. Discussions during the meeting in Abu Dhabi focused on ways to promote interfaith understanding and diversity, as well as foster respect for human rights and religious freedom, to combat extremism.
Experts from around the world participated, including government representatives, civil society thought leaders, and key religious figures. They discussed how new approaches are needed for teaching interfaith tolerance in the classroom to prepare youth for an increasingly diverse world. Evidence shows that respect for religious freedom and pluralism correlates with stable societies, respect for human rights, economic growth, resilient communities, and a reduction in conflict and violent extremism.
Based on those discussions, the “Abu Dhabi Guidelines on Teaching Interfaith Tolerance” highlights ways to better foster interfaith tolerance in the classroom.