The gathering of Islamic scholars and intellectuals aims to promote the culture of tolerance and peace, to break the vicious cycles of suspicion, fear and intimidation against the Islamic world and Muslims around the world.
Shaykh Abdallah bin Bayyah, President of the Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies, said that the forum is preparing to convene its fourth session, despite the presence of serious issues affecting the relations between Muslims and other communities, particularly in countries experiencing high levels of migration and expatriation.
"Facts show that Islamophobia is increasing, as certain groups are adopting intimidation policies against Islam and religious rhetoric during election campaigns, even in countries that do not discriminate theoretically and legally on the grounds of religion and race and where people are officially equal with regards to citizenship," he added, in a statement following a meeting of the Forum's Board of Trustee in Rabat, Morocco, on Wednesday.
"Muslims are compelled to defend their religion. This requires us to break the vicious cycles of fear and suspicion against Islam, by addressing the issue," he stated.
Dr. Mohammed Mattar Al Kaabi, Secretary-General of the Forum, stated the meeting will be held to coincide with the UAE’s declaration that 2018 will be the Year of Zayed, providing hope that everyone involved will reach their goals.
"The UAE’s leadership supports the Forum's efforts to deliver its mandate and spread its message of elevating humanity, enhancing inter-faith co-operation, and providing stability and prosperity to countries," he added.