PM Narendra Modi concluded his inaugural speech by saying, "When young laughter is silenced by guns on the streets, you are the voice that heals."
PM Narendra Modi concluded his inaugural speech by saying, “When young laughter is silenced by guns on the streets, you are the voice that heals.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday, amid loud chants of Bharat Mata Ki Jai by a large Muslim audience, said that Sufism is an effective antidote to terrorism masked as religious ideology. In his speech at the World Sufi Forum organised by All India Ulama and Mashaikh Board (AIUMB), he said, “Sufism is the celebration of diversity and pluralism. It is the voice of peace, co-existence, compassion, equality; a call to universal brotherhood.”
The forum, inaugurated by the PM at Vigyan Bhawan, saw the participation of over 200 Indian and international delegates, including Sufi Shuyukh, spiritual leaders, scholars, academicians and masters of Sufism. “This is an extraordinary event that has come at a critical time. The dark shadow of violence is becoming longer. You are the noor (light) of hope. When world struggles for peace and justice, this is an assembly of those whose life itself is a message of peace, tolerance and love,” PM Modi said.
The four-day event will enlighten the attendees on how Sufism and Islam have played a pivotal role in disseminating knowledge, and promoting peace and empathy among world civilizations and cultures. As the PM said, “Here I see different lands and cultures but united by common faith. You represent the diversity of a religion that stands on the solid bedrock of Islam, a religion that reached great heights from the 15th century in arts, science, architecture and literature. None of 99 names of Allah stand for force and violence, and that the first two names denote compassionate and merciful. Allah is Rahman and Raheem.”
On the issue of terrorism religion, Modi said, “Terrorism divides and destroys us. It uses diverse motivations and causes, none of which can be justified. The fight against terrorism is not a confrontation against any religion.”
Recalling the contribution of Sufism in India, the PM said, “Sufism became the face of Islam in India, even as it remained deeply rooted in the Holy Quran, and Hadis. Sufism blossomed in India’s openness and pluralism. It engaged with her spiritual tradition, and evolved its own Indian ethos. And, it helped shape a distinct Islamic heritage of India.” While reiterating the contribution of Sufism in the development of art, culture and music in India, he added: “We see this heritage in the fields of art, architecture and culture that is part of the fabric of our nation and our collective daily lives. We see it in the spiritual and intellectual tradition of India. It helped strengthen the inclusive culture that is our great nation’s immense contribution to the cultural tapestry of this world.”
Modi concluded his inaugural speech by saying, “When young laughter is silenced by guns on the streets, you are the voice that heals.”
The WSF attempts to seek answers to questions such as, “Is it possible that the Sufi Shuyukh can prevent the increasing discrimination against Muslims in India and help them to continue integrating within Indian society? What is the significance of Tasawwuf in light of contemporary global issues and what would be the methodology to promote it? In light of Sufi teachings, is it possible to prevent global terrorism?”
The World Sufi Forum will be on till March 20 at Indian Islamic Cultural Centre and Ramlila Maidan.