An Initiative of the Ministry of
Endowments and Religious Affairs
Sultanate of Oman
November 19, 2011 through January 08, 2012
The exhibition "Religious Tolerance: Islam in the Sultanate of Oman" is being presented in a Dutch city for the first time. The exhibition was part and parcel of a day dedicated to inter-religious encounters in the Segbroek district of The Hague, organized by the United Religions Initiative (URI) of the Netherlands and the Interreligieuse Beraad Segbroek (IBS).
Some 60 visitors attended the opening in the modern library Bibliothek Segbroek, representing a majority of the religions of the world, and obviously coming from very different family backgrounds. In this milieu the show was very well received, depicting as it does that also in the Sultanate of Oman different religions peacefully coexist.
The exhibition was opened by the President of IBS, Bart ten Broek, who presented the program for the day.
Also present was one of the council members of the city of The Hague, Rabin Baldeswingh, who is Dutch of course, but whose origins go back to the Indian minority in Surinam. He vividly described his relationship to three different countries, peoples, and religions -- all of which he still clings to. It may safely be assumed that there will be ever more people around the world who are of mixed origins. The fundamental belief in European countries -- that no one should be discriminated against because of his origin, religion, sex or other attributes -- is of the utmost importance, especially for these people. The Hague, which is supporting this exhibition, is symbolic of this stand.
Ari van Buuren, Chairman of the United Religions Initiative (URI) of the Netherlands explained the intentional ambiguity of the abbreviation "URI" when spoken as "YOU ARE I." And I am you. We are all the same. And it is URI's responsibility to establish contacts among the religions and to promote togetherness.
Sheik Ahmed Al Siyabi, Grand Mufti of the Sultanate of Oman, also in his capacity as Secretary of the Ministry of Religious Endowments and Religious Affairs, opened the show with greetings from the Sultanate of Oman. Subsequently the film "Religious Tolerance in Oman" was shown -- in Dutch -- and proved very popular.