Islam is not an alien faith: ChidambaramNovember 3rd, 2009 - 3:11 pm ICT by IANS
Deoband (Uttar Pradesh), Nov 3 (IANS) Citing the contribution of Muslims to the building of modern India, Home Minister P. Chidambaram said Tuesday that India cannot view Islam as an “alien faith”.
“We cannot view Islam as an alien faith. Our Muslim brethren are honoured citizens of India. This is the land of your forbears; this is the land of your birth; and this is where you will live and work. It is a matter of pride for us that all major religions of the world, including Islam, exist and thrive in India,” Chidambaram told a gathering of clerics and followers at the Deoband seminary here.
More than 500,000 people, including about 10,000 clerics, are attending the seminary’s annual conference in Deoband, about 150 km from New Delhi.
“A nation can ignore its minorities only at its peril. The golden rule in a democracy is that it is the duty of the majority to protect the minority, be it religious, racial or linguistic. It is a self-evident rule. It is a rule that is firmly rooted in the universality of human rights,” Chidambaram said at the conference being organised by the Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind.
He condemned all manifestations of communalism and said: “The worst kind of communalism is unleashing communal violence. Violence and violent means to achieve any objective is the antithesis of a civilised society governed by the rule of law.
“The demolition of the Babri Masjid was a manifestation of religious fanaticism and an act of extreme prejudice. Likewise, taking to the path of violence in the name of religion must also be deplored in unequivocal terms.”
–Indo-Asian News service
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