Special Reports

Dialogue among Religions

Aligarh: "An undercurrent of conflicts has burst to the fore, threatening to turn religious coercion into wars and the solution in the 21st century is through a dialogue between different religions," said the Chairman Darulul Uloom, Trinidad, and Director of Television Islamic Network (West Indies), Mufti Waseem Ahmad Khan while delivering a keynote address at the Aligarh Muslim University's Sunni Theology Department on 3 January.

Mufti Waseem further said, "The new world cannot be understood without involving religion and religious organizations… Out of every 10 people in the world, eight people follow some religion and it is not possible to find solutions without bringing them into a dialogue. All faiths teach peace. Religious people all over the world aspire to live with dignity and a sense of justice. And if representatives of these faiths are involved in finding resolutions to global conflicts, peace will automatically prevail," he said, adding that it is important to attain peace and shun violence, oppression and tyranny for a happier world. "Innocent people have been killed in the name of religion and it is high time that a right and peaceful representation of religion should prevail to maintain peace," asserted Mufti Waseem. He stressed that it is only a proper dialogue between different religions which will bring tranquility.

The AMU Zameer Uddin Shah, while presiding over the seminar, stated that a dialogue process should always be there between people of various faiths. He stressed that violence between Muslim sects has been on the rise and they first need to mend their differences and enter into a dialogue. Shah added that our educational qualification would prove beneficial only if we have a mutual understanding of and compassion for various religions. He stressed that we need to integrate with the mainstream national characteristics while keeping our cultural values intact. He said that violence would never pay, rather will cause great harm to everyone.

Former Dean of the AMU's Faculty of Theology, Prof Zainus Sajiddin Siddiqui said that the very concept of religious following is changing and it is obligatory on us to present the correct understanding of it. For this, it is essential to encourage mutual dialogue. He stressed that above all one must have regard for others' dignity. While welcoming the guests, Chairman, Department of Sunni Theology, Dr Mufti Zahid Ali Khan said, "Besides academic courses, our effort is to form a powerful front against social evils and promote mutual cooperation and tolerance".   

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 16-31 January 2015 on page no. 13

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