In a bid to spread Islam’s message of peace and tolerance as a counterpoint to the rising global violent extremism, the first World Sufi Forum has been inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on March 17.
“All our people, Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, Jains, Buddhists, Parsis, believers, non-believers, are an integral part of India. Let us remember what the Quran says, ‘If anyone slays a person, it would be as if he slew the whole people’,” said Modi in Delhi at the World Sufi Forum.
Denouncing terrorism, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Allah has 99 names and none of it stands for violence. “This is an extraordinary event of great importance to the world,” he said, adding: “None of Allah’s 99 names stands for violence.”
And without naming Pakistan, he said, “When spirit and love of Sufism and not violent force of terrorism flows across the border, this region will be the paradise on earth that Amir Khusro spoke about.”
The four-day event, being organised by All India Ulama and Mashaikh Board (AIUMB), a non-profit institute, has invited leading global Sufi scholars, academicians, social workers as participants from 20 countries including Pakistan, a release from AIUMB said.
“We believe it is high time for us to create a platform to seriously ponder over the radical interpretations of Islam by terror groups for political gains. The spread of terror and tyranny by jihadist forces in Syria and other parts of the world has damaged the image of Islam more than ever before.
“However, we are of the belief that Indian Muslims can provide a real alternative to all the bloodshed being spilled across the world in the name of Islam by promoting their rich history of Sufism,” AIUMB founder-president Syed Muhammad Ashraf said in the release.
Asserting that any extremist organisation waving Islamic flags and misusing the holy Quran such as Daesh and ISIS have actually “no endorsement in the ambit of Islam”, he said, they are nothing but terror outfits which are tarnishing the image of Islam.