ABU DHABI, 19th December 2016 (WAM) – H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, today honoured the Central Africa Republic-based National Interfaith Peace Platform (NIPP), winner of this year’s Imam Al Hassan bin Ali Award for Promoting Peace.

This came during a ceremony held today, as part of the third Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies, in Abu Dhabi. It was attended by Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid Al Qasimi, Minister of State for Tolerance, Sheikh Abdallah bin Bayyah, President of the Forum, Mahamat Kamoun, Former Prime Minister of Central Africa Republic, Adama Dieng, UN Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, Ali Al Hashemi, Religious and Judicial Affairs Advisor at the Ministry of Presidential Affairs, Dr. Mohammed Mukhtar Juma, Egyptian Minister of Awqaf, Ali Al Ameen, Member of the Muslim Council of Elders, Dr. Abbas Shouman, Under-secretary of Al Azhar Al Sharif, and a number of Arab and Muslim scholars and thinkers.

NIPP was named as winner of the Award for its role in rebuilding the community and promoting values of peace through direct communication with the citizens in mosques and churches, following the civil war which broke out in Central Africa in 2012.

Among the honoured were NIPP leaders, including Archbishop Dieudonne Nzapalainga, Imam Oumar Kobine Layama and Pastor Nicolas Guerekoyame-Gbangou.

Sheikh Abdallah bin Bayyah said the two-day Forum explored the best methods to finding peaceful solutions that can rectify the negative and distorted image of Islam in some parts of the world. In addition, the speakers endeavoured to refute extremist ideologies with a culture of peace and tolerance, which has been a driving force of Islam.

The Forum’s closing statement called for adopting innovative means to promote peace and peaceful co-existence in the Muslim societies. It said that the history of Islamic nation showed that Islam thrived under multiple nations, that there is no proof that anyone sought to unify such nations under one banner and that the current system of the national state is legitimate.