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Ibadi Islam

Episode 2 of 2

What absolute monarch Sultan Qaboos's 'benevolent dictatorship' has done for Oman's climate of exceptional religious tolerance.

Ask members of any faith in Oman what it’s like to live there, and almost everyone will extol the virtues of the country’s absolute monarch, Sultan Qaboos.

Oman’s short-lived version of the Arab uprisings appears to bear this out: protests over unemployment quickly subsided after the Sultan promised jobs and benefits.

In the second part of her series, Mounira Chaieb examines what Sultan Qaboos’ “benevolent dictatorship” has done for the country’s climate of exceptional religious tolerance.

We hear how Oman’s dominant branch of Islam - the Ibadis - relates to the country’s Sunnis and Shias, who – uniquely in the Muslim world – are both in the minority here.

But does the country’s lack of democracy diminish the value of its policy of religious tolerance? And what does the future hold for Oman when the Sultan’s rule comes to an end?

Picture: Oman's Sultan Qaboos bin Said, Credit: Mohammed Mahjoub/AFP/Getty Images

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27 minutes

Last on

Mon 14 Apr 2014 23:32GMT

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