In what is seen as an outreach towards India’s large Muslim community, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said action against terrorism and radicalisation was not directed against any religion, but aimed at countering a mindset that leads to misguided youth inflicting atrocities on innocents. He said complete prosperity and progress was possible only when Muslim youths have the Holy Quran in one hand and a computer in the other.
“Indian democracy is a celebration of our age-old plurality,” Mr Modi said at an event where Jordan’s King Abdullah, a direct descendant of Prophet Muhammad, delivered a special address on “Islamic Heritage: Promoting Understanding and Moderation”. Delivering his address, the Jordanian monarch said today’s global war against terror was not a fight between different religions but rather one that pits the moderates of all faiths and communities against extremists who spread hatred and violence. King Abdullah also spoke about the “need to take back the airwaves and the Internet from the voices of hatred”. He said the global fight against terror was one against hate and violence, and not directed at Muslims.
Indian government sou-rces said the Jordan-ian King’s speech was extremely significant as he was the direct descendant of the Prophet. Mr Modi was also seen interacting informally with Indian Muslim clerics after the function. Observers noted that the King of Jordan had chosen a forum in India, home to one of the largest Muslim populations in the world, and not in a Western country for his address. It was also widely appreciated by the Jordanians that Indian Muslims have overwhelmingly refused to heed the virulent message of global terror outfits like ISIS that are rooted in the Arab world and West Asia, a region where Jordan is located.
At the event organised by the India Islamic Cultural Centre here, Mr Modi said today’s biggest necessity was that Muslim youth remain rooted to the humanitarian values of Islam while availing the modern benefits of science and technology. “Those committing heinous acts against innocents don’t realise that the biggest loser is the religion in whose name they claim to be acting,” Mr Modi pointed out.
With King Abdullah listening with great appreciation, Mr Modi said that in India, his efforts have been to ensure that for the progress of all, there was an inclusive approach. He said democracy in India was not just a political system but a way of life to ensure equality and diversity.
Mr Modi hailed the global efforts of the Jordanian King in the fight against radicalism and extremism. He said India wanted to be alongside Jordan in these efforts. He said the presence of over 1,000 Muslim “ulema” (clerics), religious scholars, intellectuals and politicians proved this, adding that they wanted to hear the address of King Abdullah. He referred to Jordan as a holy land from where the voices of prophets echoed throughout the world.
Mr Modi pointed out that India was the cradle of religions like Buddhism and also referred to the nation’s Sufi Muslim traditions, including Sufi saint Nizamuddin Auliya, who had lived in Delhi several centuries ago. He said India was known for its cultural and social diversity and open-minded views, adding that the country had a “Ganga-Jamuni” (pluralist) culture. He said every Indian was proud of the country irrespective of the language spoken or religious faith adhered to. Mr Modi said every Indian felt this pride whether he/she prayed at a temple, mosque, church or gurdwara.
Delivering his address, the Jordanian King said today’s global war against terror was not a fight between different religions. “It is between the moderates of all faiths and communities and against extremists who spread hatred and violence,” he said. Sharing his views on religion, he said faith should hold humanity together.
“We need to recognise and reject the misinformation groups promote about Islam, or indeed any religion. We need to take back the airwaves and the Internet from the voices of hatred, those who have victimised our world only with bombs and terror, but with ignorance and lies,” King Abdullah said. Pointing out that inclusion was the path to coexistence, he said: “It is our strongest defence against turmoil and the greatest promise of our future prosperity, security and peace,” he added.
Mr Modi also presented the Jordanian King an Urdu translation of a book titled A Thinking Person’s Guide to Islam, that was originally written by Jordanian Prince Ghazi, a cousin of the King. The book was translated into Urdu by Indian Muslim cleric Maulana Madani.