Amongst all the countries in the Middle East, Dubai truly is the shining example for its praiseworthy policy of upholding the praiseworthy spirit of interfaith harmony. Ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum deserves appreciations for his undeterred commitment of maintaining peace and religious harmony in the city, and transforming it not only into the hub of global economic activities, but also one of the best tourist attraction cities, which changes global perception of Middle Eastern cities, where religious orthodoxy and bigotry are seen all around. But Dubai is the exception – a magnificent example of how an Arab and Middle Eastern city too can emerge into one of the most modern and liberal cities in the world. Another plus point of Dubai is its law and order situation. Although there are plenty of amusement facilities in the city, along with nightclubs, there isn’t any incident of dark-hour crimes, robbery, street-snatching and mass shooting although similar odds are happening almost in all the major tourist destination cities throughout the world – including Nevada in the US.
Now Dubai has once again caught the attention of global media as on October 4, 2022, the very first Hindu Temple was opened in the city, although a number of prominent Islamist intellectuals harshly condemned the UAE for its action and accused it of rewarding the Hindus for oppressing Muslims in India.
Meanwhile, liberal Muslims praised the UAE, saying allowing for the building of the Hindu temple promotes tolerance and co-existence. The new temple is not the first in the UAE, which has had a Hindu place of worship going back decades. Bahrain, another Gulf state, has had a Hindu temple dating back to the early 19th century.
Turkey-based Saudi Islamist Ahmad bin Rashid Bin Saeed also condemn the UAE in a tweet in which he cited Quran 7:152: “Indeed, those who took the calf [for worship] will obtain anger from their Lord and humiliation in the life of this world, and thus do We recompense the inventors [of falsehood]”. He then mentioned the temple’s cost, size, and capacity and mockingly wrote: “A UAE official whispered his wish in the temple’s cow ear”.
Turki Al-Shalhoub, another Saudi Islamist writer with 1,000,000 followers on Twitter, where his account is described as a “parody account”, condemned both the UAE and Saudi Arabia in a tweet in which he wrote: “Tell your children that the UAE opened the first Hindu temple in the Arabian Peninsula and that Bin Salman [MBS] allowed the Zionists to enter Makkah and Madina so that they know who the enemies of Islam are”.
Saudi Islamist Turki Al-Shalhoub’s comment clearly proves – despite being born in Saudi Arabia, he actually echoes the voice of Iranian mullah regime that opposes Saudi, Bahraini and UAE royals, particularly Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. In order to defeat evil elements such as Turki Al-Shalhoub, Arab nations need to move forward in a faster pace towards normalizing relations with Israel, while anti-Semitic activities should be strictly banned.
Citing an Al-Jazeera report on the opening of the temple in Dubai, Egyptian Islamist cleric Muhammad Al-Sagheer, who is also a member of the Qatar-supported International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS), posted a tweet to his 1,200,000 followers condemning the UAE saying: “At the time when India is tormenting Muslims in India, demolishing mosques and harassing mosque goers, the UAE opened in Dubai the largest Hindu temple in the Arab world, whose building cost 16,000,000 dollars and occupies 2,300 square meters with the capacity of about 1,000 people. It is as if they are in a state of provoking Muslims’ feelings”. He concluded his tweet with the hashtag “expelling Hindu workers”, calling on Arab Gulf states to expel their Hindu workers.
Expelling Hindu workers from the Arab Gulf states? Who are behind such poisonous religious bigotry targeting Hindus? Although we know, for decades, Pakistan has been spreading anti-Hindu venom in the Arab Muslim nations, it has been echoed by number of radical Islamic groups including Tablighi Jamaat and jihadist outfit such as Al Qaeda. A section of Afghan Taliban jihadists also promotes anti-Hindu hatred.