Indian PM Modi and Al-Issa discuss aspects of fostering interfaith harmony

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Saudi Gazette report

NEW DELHI — Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi received Secretary General of the Muslim World League (MWL) and Chairman of the Organization of Muslim Scholars Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulkarim Al-Issa at the Prime Minister’s residence in New Delhi on Tuesday.

During the meeting, they discussed various aspects of furthering interfaith harmony, peace and working towards human progress. During the meeting, a number of issues of mutual interest were reviewed, including Indian diversity within the framework of the country’s constitution.

After the meeting, Dr. Al-Issa tweeted that he had an insightful discussion with the Indian PM Modi on a variety of issues, including ways to further human-centric development and the importance of promoting understanding and harmony among the followers of faith and culture.

He appreciated Modi’s passionate perspective towards inclusive growth.

There was also agreement on the importance of working together on confronting all aspects of extremism and hatred, regardless of their source and reason, as peace and prosperity in our diverse world can only be achieved with awareness and comprehensive citizenship, the MWL chief pointed out.

“Also, I elaborated upon the details of this important meeting in my lecture at the India Islamic Cultural Centre, which was delivered after the meeting with His Excellency the PM; it was attended by senior scholars, both Muslim and non-Muslim, along with thinkers and politicians-coming from different states of India, who valued and appreciated the lecture,” Al-Issa said in a statement on his Twitter account.

In a tweet, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) had said: “PM @narendramodi met H.E. Sheikh @MhmdAlissa, Secretary General of Muslim World League @MWLOrg and Chairman of the Organization of Muslim Scholars. They had insightful discussions on various aspects of furthering inter-faith harmony, peace and working towards human progress.”

For his part, India’s National Security Adviser Ajit Doval welcomed the MWL chief. He lauded the relentless efforts of Al-Issa to foster interfaith harmony. “The only way to deal with differences is dialogue under the umbrella of coexistence and common interests, and our country is ready to respond to the suggestions made by Dr. Al-Issa,” Doval said.

Sheikh Al-Issa attended several programs, functions and receptions during his five-day visit to India, which started on Monday. As part of the visit, he delivered a lecture organized by the Indian Islamic Cultural Center to mark the celebration of the visit of the MWL delegation.

Several prominent Indian religious leaders, including muftis, scholars and religious leaders from different faiths and intellectual diversity attended the seminar.

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In his lecture, Sheikh Al-Issa highlighted the important milestones in Islamic values, reviewing multiple models of their civilizational progress. “These models called for building bridges of understanding and peace between civilizations, in order to enhance friendship and cooperation between nations and peoples.”

Sheikh Al-Issa stressed that a Muslim’s faith leads him to comprehend the wisdom of God in human diversity, and then he realizes that this diversity does not mean fear of the other, distance from him or hatred of him, let alone insulting him, as they are the theories and concepts of ignorance, pessimism and extremism.

“We reach out to the different components and diversity with a common objective that we share. We have heard a lot about Indian wisdom and we know that Indian wisdom has contributed a lot to humanity, and we know that we have a common objective of co-existing peacefully together,” he said.

He added, “We know that the Indian components with all its diversity is a great model for coexistence not only in mere words but also on the ground and we appreciate all the efforts taken in this regard.

“Muslim components in the Indian society are proud of their nationality, that they are Indian nationals and they are proud of their Constitution. He also underscored that religious awareness must be a tool for promoting understanding, coexistence and cooperation with mutual appreciation and love.”

Al-Issa also delivered the Friday sermon and led congregational prayers at India’s historical Jama Masjid in New Delhi. The MWL delegation, headed by Al-Issa, concluded their visit on Friday. The visit was in response to an official invitation from the government of India.

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