The Republic of Uzbekistan has presented the 'Medal of Religious Tolerance' to the Secretary-General of the Muslim Council of Elders, Judge Mohamed Abdelsalam, in recognition of his efforts in promoting interfaith dialogue and relations and disseminating the values of tolerance and coexistence. The award marks the first time that this prestigious medal has been awarded to a personality from outside Uzbekistan.
The Secretary-General received the medal, one of the highest honors in Uzbekistan, from His Excellency Dr. Muzaffar Kamilov, advisor to the President of Uzbekistan, and His Excellency Sadiq Tashbayev, Minister of Religious Affairs in Uzbekistan.
Expressing his appreciation and gratitude, the Secretary-General of the Muslim Council of Elders thanked the Republic of Uzbekistan for this honor, affirming that the recognition is a testament to the UAE's role in promoting the values of coexistence and tolerance through its leading local and global initiatives. He also commended Uzbekistan's distinguished efforts and experience, highlighting that the Transoxiana region has historically represented a source of Islamic knowledge and heritage for all scholars of the Islamic world.
The Secretary-General of the Muslim Council of Elders has previously received several awards and honors, including the papal knighthood “Knight Commander with Star of the Order of Pius IX” by His Holiness Pope Francis, making him the first Arab Muslim to receive this prestigious award from the head of the Catholic Church.
Additionally, President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev of Kazakhstan awarded him the 'Medal of Shafa'a (Intercession)' and the 'Astana Medal' in recognition of his efforts to promote human fraternity and dialogue. In June 2023, the National Eurasian University in Kazakhstan conferred upon him an honorary professorship, acknowledging his efforts in promoting the values of dialogue, tolerance, fraternity, and coexistence.
Among these accolades, the Secretary-General also received the 'Community Service Medal' from the Minister of Interior of the United Arab Emirates, in appreciation of his commitment and positive impact in enhancing security in communities. Furthermore, the President of the Supreme Constitutional Court of the Arab Republic of Egypt honored him with the 'Supreme Constitutional Court Medal' in recognition of his representation of the Egyptian judiciary during his tenure at Al-Azhar and the committee for drafting the Egyptian constitution.
The Secretary-General of the Muslim Council of Elders, Judge Mohamed Abdelsalam, is a member of the Al-Azhar Interfaith Dialogue Center, a member of the King Hamad Center for Peaceful Coexistence, and the Deputy President of the Religions for Peace organization. He has previously served as the Secretary-General of the Higher Committee for Human Fraternity and as an advisor to His Eminence Dr. Ahmed Al-Tayeb, the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar. He actively participated in the preparation of the historic Document on Human Fraternity co-signed by His Holiness Pope Francis and His Eminence Dr. Ahmed Al-Tayeb in Abu Dhabi on February 4, 2019. He also contributed to the drafting and amendment of the Egyptian constitution in the Constituent Assemblies for drafting the Egyptian constitution in 2012 and 2013 and played a role in drafting several documents for Al-Azhar between 2011 and 2018.