Your excellencies, ladies and gentlemen.
It is a true honour to be here. I have had the privilege of speaking from the pulpits of Britain’s oldest cathedrals and from the lecterns of the world’s greatest universities…
But there is nothing quite like standing here at Muscat’s spectacular Grand Mosque, a place of deep spirituality and immense beauty.
For me, this is something of a home from home – not only because it is a symbol of the faith I hold so dearly, Islam, but because its construction was partly down to a British company!
And it is therefore the perfect backdrop for me to talk about religious tolerance. For Oman under His Majesty’s wise leadership is a symbol of that very co-existence we are all striving for. Proof that sectarianism is not inevitable – even when a religion is blighted by splits in a region that is constantly the focus of such tensions. Now I look forward to saying more about the lessons I think we can learn from your example later on in this speech. Read more