Campaign against terror not aimed at any religion: PM Modi
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Campaign against terror not aimed at any religion: PM Modi

Every religion promotes human values, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in his address at a conference on ‘Islamic Heritage: Promoting Understanding & Moderation’, where Jordan’s King Abdullah II was also present.

india Updated: Mar 01, 2018 22:36 IST
Jayanth Jacob
Jayanth Jacob
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
King Abdullah II,PM Narendra Modi,Religion
President Ram Nath Kovind with Jordan King Abdullah II bin Al-Hussein and Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the ceremonial reception at Rashtrapati Bhawan in New Delhi.(Vipin Kumar/HT Photo)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Thursday the fight against terrorism and radicalisation was not against any religion, but against a mindset that misguides the young.

Every religion promotes human values, he said in his address at a conference, titled “Islamic Heritage: Promoting Understanding and Moderation”, in which King Abdullah II bin Al-Hussein of Jordan as well as Islamic leaders, scholars and diplomats, including Pakistani high commissioner Sohail Mahmood, were present.

“The action against terrorism and radicalisation is not against religion. It is against the mindset that misleads our youth to inflict atrocities against innocents,” Modi said in his speech delivered in Hindi.

He said those who commit crimes against humanity doesn’t realise they undermine the religion they claim to stand for.

Modi and King Abdullah II, the custodian of Islamic holy sites in Jerusalem, called for inclusiveness and pluralism.

The Prime Minister highlighted the country’s syncretic tradition, calling India the “cradle of all major religions in the world” and its democracy a “celebration of age-old pluralism”. To illustrate his point, he said Sufism that spreads the message of love, peace and brotherhood flourished in India.

Also, he pointed out that his government is doing everything possible to empower Muslim youngsters. “We want them to have the Quran in one hand and a computer in the other,” he said.

The Jordanian king, who addressed Modi as “my dear brother”, said the global war against terrorism is a fight among moderates of all faiths and their extremist counterparts “who spread hatred and violence”.

“We need to recognise and reject the misinformation groups promote about Islam, or indeed any religion. We need to take back the airwaves and internet from the voices of hatred, those who have victimised our world only with bombs and terror but with ignorance and lies,” the king said.

He said inclusion is the path to co-existence, and called for building strong and successful countries.

“It is our strongest defence against turmoil and our greatest promise of our future and prosperity, security and peace,” he said.

Before the function began, the giant screen played pictures of Modi with leaders of Islamic countries such as Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Palestine, Oman and Jordan. A short video before the event showed the Islamic heritage of India and the nation’s founding fathers in promoting pluralism — Mahatma Gandhi, BR Ambedkar, Sardar Patel, Jawaharlal Nehru and Maulana Azad, in that order.

Modi and the king decided to step up bilateral ties across sectors, including defence, as the two countries signed a dozen pacts at a meeting held later in the afternoon.

The defence deal aims at promoting cooperation in areas such as military training and studies, defence industry, counter-terrorism, cyber security, military medical services and peacekeeping efforts, said officials who don’t want to be named.

Health is another focus area for mutual cooperation between India and Jordan. The thrust will be on several sectors, including universal health coverage, and regulation of pharmaceuticals and medical devices, the officials said.

Jordan has more than 10,000 Indians working in textile, construction, health and manufacturing sectors, universities, and IT, financial and fertiliser companies.

A memorandum of understanding was signed for setting up a centre in Jordan for training at least 3,000 Jordanian IT professionals over five years. A similar unit will be based in India to train master trainers in IT from Jordan, the officials said.

First Published: Mar 01, 2018 12:48 IST