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Modi Invokes Allah to Preach Peace:The New Indian Express

By Express News Service,Published: 18th March 2016 Prime Minister Narendra Modi interacting with Islamic scholars from Egypt and Jordan dur

NEW DELHI: Quoting eminent Sufi scholars and referring to the idea of compassion contained in Islam, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday stressed upon the idea of universal brotherhood to counter global terrorism. He spoke about the inclusivity enshrined in the Indian culture that welcomed all faiths.

Addressing the scholars from across the Islamic world to the World Sufi Conference here, Modi extolled India’s belief in ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ (world is one family), a message also enshrined in Holy Quran.

The central theme of the Prime Minister’s speech was on the teachings of Islam, particularly Sufism, that spoke about peace and compassion even as he stressed on fight against terrorism.

He reminded that tens of thousands of families have lost their loved ones in thousands of terror acts globally. “Last year alone, over 90 countries experienced terror attacks. Parents in 100 countries live with the daily pain of their children lost to the battlefields of Syria… Every year, we spend over 100 billion dollars to secure the world from terrorism, the money that should have been spent on building lives of the poor. The impact cannot be fully captured in statistics alone,” Modi said in his appeal to fight terrorism through compassion.

As countries across the world bear the brunt of terrorists, the Prime Minister stressed that fight against terrorism was not a confrontation against any religion. “It is a struggle between the values of humanism and forces of inhumanity. It is not a conflict to be fought only through military, intelligence or diplomatic means. It is a battle that must be won through the strength of our values and the real message of religions,” he said.

The three-day conference would discuss the central message of Islam, Sufism and means to denounce terrorism. Modi said Islam’s  message went beyond the confines of schools and sects. “It is a spiritual quest that traces its origin from the Holy Prophet and the fundamental values of Islam, which means peace,” the Prime Minister said.

“It reminds us that when we think of the 99 names of Allah, none stands for force and violence, and that the first two names denote compassion and mercy. Allah is Rahman and Raheem,” he said.

Referring to the gathering of scholars and Sufi leaders, he said, “You represent the rich diversity of the Islamic civilisation that stands on the solid bedrock of a great religion.”

‘Fight terror, not religion’

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the fight against terrorism was not a confrontation against any religion. He termed it a battle that must be “won through the strength of our values”.