The Kashmir University vice-chancellor, Riyaz Punjabi, on Wednesday urged scholars to work together to change the ‘not-so-friendly’ perspective of the European nations about Islam and Muslims.
Addressing academics, scholars and students at a seminar on Arabic language and literature, Punjabi said, “When Europe was in utter darkness, people there resorted to Arabic language to safeguard their knowledge and it was through the efforts of the Arab scholars that the great renaissance in Europe became possible.”
Punjabi, however, said the European scholars accepted and assimilated Islamic knowledge without even properly acknowledging their original beneficiaries. They have even distorted the names of many scholars while they refer to them, he added.
The four-day seminar titled ‘contribution of Kashmir to Arabic language and literature’ is organised by the varsity’s department of Arabic.
Punjabi said there was need to work together and change the ‘not-so-friendly’ perspective of the European nations about Islam and its people.
“It is here that the scholars have a role to play in removing all the misconceptions about the religion,” he said, adding that Kashmir has contributed immensely to the promotion of Arabic language and literature.
In his address, noted Arabic scholar of Jamila Milia Islamia University Zubair Ahmad Farooqui asserted that Kashmir continued to be a seat of learning and excellence for long. “The arrivals from Iran, Turkey and Central Asia brought to the valley not only the new concerns about the changing paradigms, but also initiated the process of higher learning.
Mufti Azam Kashmir, Mufti Bashir-ud-Din Farooqi was also present on the occasion.