Jordan King, PM Modi call for end to religious hatred

01 Mar 2018


Jordanian king Abdullah II bin Al-Hussein and India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi today called for a global initiative to deradicalise religious extremists and terrorists who perpetrate crimes in the name of religion.

Delivering a talk on Islamic heritage at a function organised at Vigyan Bhavan today, King Abdullah II, who is known for his global initiative to fight radicalisation and terrorism, called for an end to hate, which, he said, is a crime against humanity and has no religious basis.

The king is also custodian of the Al-Aqsa mosque, the third holiest site of Islam, located in the Old City of Jerusalem.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, diplomats, representatives from a wide range of Islamic institutions, academicians and think-tanks attended the event organised by the India Islamic Cultural Centre at Vigyan Bhavan.

Speaking at the event, Prime Minister Narendra Modi stressed that India embraced many religions and that every religion flourished in the country, adding that India is proud of its pluralistic heritage.

"Every religion found life here, it grew here. Every Indian is proud of this virtue, no matter what language he speaks, no matter what religion he practises," the prime minister said at the conference on 'Islamic Heritage: Promoting Understanding and Moderation.'

"Be it Buddha or Mahatma Gandhi, the fragrance of peace and love has spread across the world from India. India has given the idea of 'Vasudev Kutumbakam' - which means that the whole world is our family. India found its identity in considering the people of this world as their family.

"We will be celebrating Holi tomorrow, there will be a celebration of Buddha Jayanti that will be followed by the month of Ramzan - a symbol of the country's unity and diversity."

PM Modi stressed on the need for religion and technology to come together to combat extremist forces and said that Muslim youth in India had the Quran in one hand and a computer in the other.

Modi said those who attacked humanity in the name of religion were in fact hurting religion itself.

''People who attack humanity in the name of religion don't understand that the biggest casualty of their attacks is the very religion that they claim to stand for,'' Modi said.

The topic - 'Islamic heritage; Promoting Understanding and Moderation', has been selected by King Abdulla himself, sources said.

A translation of a book ''A Thinking Person's Guide to Islam - the Essence of Islam in 12 versus from the Quran'' was also released at the event.

The book authored by Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad bin Talal, a cousin of the King, a well-known scholar and also the Chief Advisor for Religious and Cultural Affairs in Jordan.

The book is an attempt to interpret the real meaning of Islam and to wean away from those that have been distorting its philosophy and seeking to bring it into perpetual conflict with the rest of the world, said an expert in Islamic studies.

''Because of their actions, very few non-Muslims understand the real difference between Islam as it has always been, and the distorted perversions of the religion today,'' he said.

''So, this book is an attempt to positively say what Islam actually is - and always was - as well as what it is not. The book is split into twelve thematic chapters, each beginning with and centered around a key Quranic verse,'' he said.

Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad had studied at Harrow School in UK and Princeton University, the US. He had received his first PhD from Trinity College, Cambridge University, and his second PhD from Al-Azhar University, Cairo.

India has around 170 million Muslims which is around 15 per cent of the country's total population. It is also one of the largest Muslim populations globally.

The Jordanian King, who arrived here on a three-day visit aimed at taking bilateral relations to a ''new high,'' received a ceremonial reception at the Rashtrapati Bhawan in New Delhi.

Reflecting the importance of his visit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself received King Abdullah II bin Al-Hussein at the airport, in a special gesture.

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