Dialogue between Islam and Eastern Religions

New Delhi: The International Dialogue Between Islam & Oriental Religions began in New Delhi today with religious and community leaders calling for unity on the basis of common values shared by the religions in Asia. “Initiation of the dialogue is timely as such dialogues have already started between Islam and Judaism and Christianity,” said Hamid Ansari, Vice President of India while inaugurating the 2-day conference.

“While there is a dialogue between Islam and Judaism and Christianity in the West there is no such dialogue between Islam and Oriental religions in this part of the world. Initiation of such dialogue is timely,” said Hamid Ansari. “There is a need to establish contact between Islam and Hinduism,” he stressed and added: “Religions share common values but politics and government sowed hatred.”

Prof. Ali Mohiuddin Qaradaghi, President, Muslim Minorities Committee and Alami Ulama Council, while representing Allama Yusuf Al-Qaradhawi said: “We have come to India, the country with rich culture and civilization, so that we could be acquainted with each other through mutual talk, live peacefully and do something unitedly for the building and progress of our countries. In fact, the good of all of us lies in living together peacefully and in this way only we can bring about economic progress, prosperity and stability for all of us.”

Presiding over the first session of the conference being attended by people from several countries, Maulana Arshad Madani, president of a faction of Jamiat Ulema Hind, said: No clash among followers of religions has ever been in the past in India as Muslim rulers had Hindu officials at high ranks while Hindu rulers had Muslims. There was no religious conflict. First Mughal emperor Babar’s advice to his son Humayun while on death bed was historic, he said.

“It was the British government which sowed religious hatred by their divide and rule policy,” said the Maulana adding that communalism can’t be checked by communalism. “For peace it is must to strengthen peace and communal harmony.”

Jagatguru Shankaracharya Onkaranand Saraswati of Prayag Peeth called for unity among followers of religions for the sake of the country. “The unity once needed for freedom of India is again needed,” he said. “Islam does not teach terrorism, it cannot talk about division. No religion instigates hatred or communalism. We all are human being of One God. We all are equal. There is no conflict between Islam and Sanatan Dharma. There is a need to highlight values and teachings that call for unity.”

Najeeb Jung, Vice Chancellor, Jamia Millia Islamia said that all religions are under attack as Muslims, Jews, Hindus and Christians have great disbelief among them. “Truth lies in mysticism of all religions which their followers miss to understand,” he said.

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