December 03, 2013 through January 06, 2014
The exhibition “Religious Tolerance: Islam in the Sultanate of Oman” opened on December 3, 2013 at the Ljubljana Town Hall sponsored by Islamic Culture Center. Ljubljana is the capital and largest city of Slovenia, a member of the European Union, located between Austria, Italy and Croatia.
The exhibition was opened by Ljubljana’s mayor Zoran Jankovic, Mufti Nedzad Grabus, and representing Oman’s Ministry of Endowments and Religious Affairs, Sheikh Ahmed Saud al Siyabi, Secretary General of the Iftaa office.
The Sultanate of Oman was also represented by HE Dr. Badr Mohamed Al Hinai, Oman's Ambassador accredited to Slovenia and Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Vienna. Distinguished guests included Danilo Türk, the former president of Slovenia; Dr. Marjan Cencen of the Foreign Ministry, and the ambassadors of Egypt and Jordan attended the opening ceremony, along with more than 200 guests and visitors.
Mayor Jankovic welcomed the distinguished guests by name, and welcomed the close ties to the Sultanate of Oman, which has demonstrated over time its commitment to openness and tolerance. He also expressed his appreciation to the Islamic community, and said he did not know who was more looking forward to the opening of Ljubljana’s only mosque, the Mufti or himself!
Following the Mufti's opening remarks, Sheikh Al Siyabi reiterated Oman's historic legacy of coexistence both at home and abroad, stating that “Just as inside Oman, it has been the same abroad, wherever the Omanis lived and traded, such as in East Africa and Southeast Asia. Omanis have coexisted with everyone, even with the pagans and atheists. It is the human side which has power over relationships and life. The Omanis understand this through the words of the prophet Mohammed, peace be upon him, when he stood up at the funeral of a Jew out of respect for his humanity, and asked 'Does not every man have a soul?' "
Ambassador Al Hinai stated that he hopes this exhibition "will spread further in Europe and cross many more borders, within the framework of Oman's National Plan for the Alliance of Civilizations, devised in 2009 to promote tolerance and coexistence between civilizations and religions. Oman has been adamant about fostering religious tolerance."
Accompanying the exhibition is a short documentary film, “Religious Tolerance in Oman,” by the award-winning German filmmaker Wolfgang Ettlich, commissioned by the Ministry to document religious life in the country.