MOSCOW, October 22 (RIA Novosti) - The reason behind the United Arab Emirates' active role in the airstrikes against the Islamic State (IS) is its high level of religious tolerance, the head of the Emirates Policy Centre told International Information Agency Rossiya Segodnya Wednesday.
"The United Arab Emirates is an example of religious tolerance. These Takfiri jihadists claim that they defend true Islam. But it is far from Islam! That is why Muslim states should be among the first people fighting against these takfirists. They encroach upon true Islam that has always been tolerant. They distort the spirit of Islam, because Islam does not call for extremism. Therefore, these terrorists endanger Muslim states first of all," Ebtisam Ketbi who is also an Assistant Professor at UAE University said in an interview.
Ketbi added that the fact that a Muslim woman is participating in this fight and conducting strikes is "an additional slap in the face" for terrorists. In September, the UAE embassy in Washington wrote on its Twitter that the Gulf federation's first female air force pilot helped carry out airstrikes against the IS.
Islamic State is a Sunni jihadi group that has been fighting the Syrian government since 2012. In June 2014, it launched an offensive in Iraq, seizing vast areas in both countries and announcing the establishment of an Islamic caliphate on the territories under its control.
In September US President Barack Obama announced his decision to form an international anti-IS coalition. Washington extended its airstrikes against the militants into Syria, while continuing airstrikes against the group's targets in Iraq.
Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain and Jordan are among the states that supported the military action.
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