THE FIGHT against terrorism, extremism and radicalisation is not against any particular religion, but is against “the mindset which misleads our youth to inflict atrocities against the innocent”, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Thursday.
Addressing a conference on ‘Islamic Heritage: Promoting Understanding & Moderation’, Modi said that “those who perpetrate crimes against humanity do not realise that they undermine the religion in whose name they claim to stand for”. “Islamic culture is flourishing across India. The influence of Sufism spreads the message of love, peace and brotherhood. The Government of India is leaving no stone unturned in empowering the Muslim youth. We want them to have the Quran in one hand and a computer in the other,” he later tweeted.
Jordan’s King Abdullah II bin Al Hussein — who is the 41st generation descendant of Prophet Muhammad — said that “today’s global war against terror is a fight by moderates of all communities against extremists whose faith is hate and violence”.
The conference was attended by eminent Muslim intellectuals and envoys of some Islamic countries, including Pakistan High Commissioner Sohail Mahmood. “We need to recognise and reject the misinformation groups promote about Islam, or indeed any religion. We need to take back the airwaves and Internet from the voices of hatred, those who have victimised our world not only with bombs and terror but with ignorance and lies,” Abdullah said.
Stating that “the world is one family” and “we have a shared responsibility to each other and the world”, Abdullah said: “Inclusion is the path to the co-existence we need. We need to build strong, successful countries… This is not just the responsibility of institutions and public bodies. As important as they are, it is for everyone in how we deal with each other and the hand of friendship we extend to one another”. He added that “it is our strongest defence against turmoil and our greatest promise of our future and prosperity, security and peace.”
Appreciating the Jordanian King’s work in the area of deradicalisation, Modi said it would prove beneficial to counter barbarism inflicted by extremists. “India would like to walk together with you in the work done by you in the area of de-radicalisation,” he said.
India, Modi said, has been a “cradle of all major religions in the world”, and added that Indian democracy is a celebration of age-old pluralism. He said that all faiths promote human values. “Therefore, our youth should associate themselves with the humanitarian aspects of Islam and should also be able to use modern technology,” he said.
Modi said complete welfare and inclusive development would be possible only when Muslim youth have a Quran in one hand and computer in the other. The Prime Minister presented Abdullah an Urdu translation of a book titled ‘A Thinking Person’s Guide to Islam’ by Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad bin Talal of Jordan, who is a cousin of the king and serves as chief advisor for religious and cultural affairs.
“My father believed leadership in any place, all leadership means serving the hopes and good of others. This is my duty rooted in our religion Islam. It is why my highest priority is the people of Jordan and securing a better future for all. Jordanians, Christians and Muslims, have worked together to help neighbours near and far,” said King Abdullah, who is also the custodian of the Al Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem — the third holiest place for Muslims.
“It is faith that allows us to prosper and thrive, bringing together all sorts of people. To understand each other, to recognise our shared humanity, to act righteously in the sight of God. This is my faith, this is the faith I teach my children and the faith shared by 1.8 billion people across the world — a quarter of humanity,” Abdullah said.