DNA CORRESPONDENT | Mon, 21 Mar 2016 , New Delhi , dna "India and Pakistan must unite to spend their money on eradicating poverty, fight this hu
“India and Pakistan must unite to spend their money on eradicating poverty, fight this hunger, spend on economic prosperity, education, health, jobs for all.”
One of the most prominent Sufi scholars and Pakistani clerics called on India and Pakistan to unite in their fight against terrorism, on the last day of the World Sufi Forum. Dr Muhammad Tahir Ul Qadri addressed thousands of people in New Delhi’s Ramlila Maidan, telling both countries to put their decades-old enmity behind them as they had a common enemy in terrorism.
Dr Qadri, a politician, scholar and the founder of a Lahore-based NGO working for interfaith harmony, was greeted passionately by the massive crowd gathered for him. Thousands rose to their feet to salute and raise loud slogans in his praise. In his fiery speech, Qadri exhorted the world to unite against terrorism, condemned the Islamic State and expressed grave concerns over the radicalisation of youth that was resulting in them joining the IS, from different parts of the world.
“When people don’t have the means to light a fire, to cook a meal to erase their hunger, that’s when their children fall into the hands of terrorism,” said the cleric. “India and Pakistan must unite to spend their money on eradicating poverty, fight this hunger, spend on economic prosperity, education, health, jobs for all. Only then will they defeat terrorism and hatred.”
Qadri also asked several countries to change their school, university, madrassa, educational institutes’ curriculae to include discourses on peace, harmony, spirituality, morality and humanism. “Why are not taught the ways of peace, of humanism, of counter terrorism, of dialogue?’, he asked, indicating that India and Pakistan, too, needed to come together in dialogue.
“For 50 to 60 years, in the name of Islam, conflict has been created in the world,” he said. “Wars have been fought and billions of dollars have been spent. Different agencies also use terrorist groups for their own ends on different borders. They use them and discard them, so new terrorist groups, such as the IS, keep rising.”
He added that in Islam for almost 1,300 years ways of peace and love had existed alongside ways of strife and conflict, dividing even Muslim communities among themselves. It was Sufism that spread the word of love and tolerance among people. “In 1,300 years, I have not heard of a single Sufi calling another Muslim a kafir,” he said.
“Every religion has shared values of love, harmony, tolerance. Groups like Daesh (IS) have no relation to Islam. It is all of humanity’s responsibility to fight and uproot them,” he said to thunderous applause.