UAE closes Zayed research centre

The president of the United Arab Emirates has ordered the closure of an Abu Dhabi-based research centre accused in the West of promoting anti-semitism.

    Shaikh al-Nahayan (centre) has ordered research centre shut

    The state WAM news agency issued an official statement on Wednesday bearing the name of the UAE leader, Shaikh Zayed bin Sultan al-Nahayan, saying the centre had been closed for religious intolerance.

    "Having learned that the centre took part in a dialogue that flouts the principles of religious tolerance, His Highness ordered its immediate closure," the statement said.

    "Shaikh Zayed has always been an advocate of religious tolerance and peaceful coexistence among peoples," sponsoring charity projects irrespective of the ethnic or religious affiliation of recipients, it added.

    Prominent speakers
     
    The Zayed Centre for Coordination and Follow-Up (ZCCF) is affiliated to the Arab League and has been operating here since 1999, hosting speakers from around the world and issuing dozens of publications.

    Former US President Jimmy Carter and former Vice President Al Gore were the most prominent of many US figures who have spoken at the centre.

    The UAE-funded ZCCF has repeatedly complained that US and other Western charges of anti-Semitism were part of an Israeli-inspired campaign against the centre.

    "Jewish institutions" fuelled the campaign after the centre hosted figures they considered "anti-Semitic," a ZCCF official told AFP in April.

    Arab media had reported the centre might be shut down, prompting several Arab intellectuals to put their names to a petition opposing any such move.

    SOURCE: AFP


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Take a tour through divided Jerusalem

    Interactive: Take a tour through divided Jerusalem

    Take a tour through East and West Jerusalem to see the difference in quality of life for Israelis and Palestinians.

    Stories from the sex trade

    Stories from the sex trade

    Dutch sex workers, pimps and johns share their stories.

    Inside the world of India's booming fertility industry

    Inside the world of India's booming fertility industry

    As the stigma associated with being childless persists, some elderly women in India risk it all to become mothers.