The Secretary-General of the Muslim Council of Elders, Judge Mohamed Abdelsalam, has met with Her Excellency Tanzila Norbaeva, Chairperson of the Senate of Uzbekistan to discuss opportunities and challenges in promoting intercultural and interfaith dialogue and the role of women in building nations and civilizations.
During the meeting, which was attended by H.E. Mr. Saeed Matar AlQemzi, the Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates to Uzbekistan, and several members of the Senate of Uzbekistan, the Secretary-General of the Muslim Council of Elders emphasized the cultural, artistic, and scientific diversity of Uzbekistan while also highlighting its significance as one of the important cultural centers in the Islamic world. He affirmed the council's commitment, under the chairmanship of His Eminence Dr. Ahmed Al-Tayeb, the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, to focus on preserving and celebrating Islamic heritage, passing it on to future generations. He also noted the council's initiatives to promote values of dialogue, tolerance, and coexistence.
The Secretary-General further expressed appreciation and gratitude towards the Republic of Uzbekistan for awarding him the 'Religious Tolerance Medal' and also commended Uzbekistan's 'Enlightenment and Religious Tolerance' resolution which was introduced by President Shavkat Mirziyoyev in 2017 and which was unanimously endorsed by UN member states on December 12, 2018. He also affirmed that Uzbekistan, through being a home for over 130 ethnicities and religions, serves as a global model for tolerance and peaceful coexistence.
For her part, H.E. Tanzila Norbaeva, Chairperson of the Senate of Uzbekistan, welcomed the delegation from the Muslim Council of Elders, led by Judge Mohamed Abdelsalam and emphasized the visit's aim to enhance mutual cultural and religious communication and cooperation, contributing to the promotion of tolerance and coexistence. She also conveyed the greetings of the President of Uzbekistan to His Eminence the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar and Chairman of the Muslim Council of Elders while also praising the council's leadership and its pioneering initiatives in promoting peace, dialogue, and coexistence. Norbaeva also acknowledged the ‘Abu Dhabi Interfaith Statement on Climate Change’ which was signed by religious leaders during the Global Faith Leaders Summit organized by the Muslim Council of Elders in Abu Dhabi.
Norbaeva also praised the efforts of the UAE in promoting tolerance and enhancing peaceful coexistence among different cultures and societies. She further noted the similarities between Uzbekistan and the UAE in embracing diverse nationalities from various backgrounds, cultures, and religions, all living in tolerance and harmony and highlighted the Senate of Uzbekistan's preparation of over 50 legal documents emphasizing the importance of religious tolerance and that Uzbekistan is home to 16 official religions, each enjoying full and equal rights and responsibilities.
At the conclusion of the meeting, the Secretary-General of the Muslim Council of Elders commended H.E. Tanzila Norbaeva for chairing the Senate of Kazakhstan and also expressed his happiness at the empowerment of women in the Islamic world and Uzbekistan, which is considered a cradle of Islamic civilization. For her part, Norbaeva congratulated Judge Abdelsalam on receiving the 'Religious Tolerance Medal', being the first high-profile figure outside Uzbekistan to be honored with this accolade.