A leading mosques in the United Arab Emirates has been renamed after Our Lady. The mosque in Abu Dhabi, was renamed last week as the Maryam Umm Issa (Mary, Mother of Jesus Mosque), a decision taken by the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed. Previously it was named after him. The mosque is immediately adjacent to the Catholic Cathedral, the Anglican Church and the Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in Abu Dhabi.
Lord Alton of Liverpool has praised the decision. “The renaming of the mosque is powerful evidence of the commitment of the United Arab Emirates to the principles of religious tolerance." he told the Emirates News Agency, WAM.
“The Virgin Mary is of enormous importance in the beliefs of both Christians and Muslims, while Jesus is, of course, highly respected as a prophet in Islam,” Lord Alton said.
“At a time when enormous intolerance to Christianity and Christians is to be found across much of the Middle East, this decision by HH Sheikh Mohamed is particularly welcome,” he said.