Kemi Badenoch impressed by ‘message of peace and tolerance’ at mosque in UAE

Kemi Badenoch in front of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, which she described as 'spectacular'
Kemi Badenoch in front of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, which she described as 'spectacular' - X/KEMI BADENOCH

Kemi Badenoch has hailed the “message of peace and tolerance” she found as she visited one of the largest mosques in the world.

The Business Secretary celebrated the “spectacular” Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in the United Arab Emirates as she shared pictures of her visit on social media.

Ms Badenoch paid a visit to the Middle East country last week to attend a World Trade Organisation conference.

On Saturday, she posted two pictures on X, formerly Twitter, taken during a visit to the mosque in Abu Dhabi.

Named after the late president of the UAE, it was constructed between 1994 and 2007 and is the largest mosque in the country.

Ms Badenoch tweeted that the visit to the mosque was the highlight of the trip. She added: “The architecture and design takes inspiration from all over the globe, emphasising a welcoming and profound message of peace and tolerance.”

During the WTO conference, the Business Secretary met Abdulla bin Touq Al Marri, the UAE minister of economy, as well as his counterparts from other Gulf states as part of the UK’s attempts to secure a trade deal.

The visit took place against the backdrop of the UAE’s bid to take over The Telegraph, with MPs from across the political divide raising concerns about the implications for free speech and the UK’s foreign policy.

Visit followed ‘Islamophobia’ controversy

In recent months, Government spokesmen have consistently said the takeover will not be discussed by ministers who talk to UAE figures about other matters.

Ms Badenoch’s visit also took place in the aftermath of a row over the Conservatives’ handling of Islamophobia accusations following the suspension of Lee Anderson.

Last month, Ms Badenoch said the Tory Party used the “term ‘anti-Muslim hatred’”, claiming that the definition of Islamophobia used by Labour and other parties “creates a blasphemy law via the back door if adopted”.