New Delhi: Allah has 99 names and none of it stands for violence, Prime Minister Narendra Modi underscored today at the World Sufi Forum in Delhi, denouncing terrorism in no uncertain terms.
“Terrorism divides and destroys us… Indeed, when terrorism and extremism have become the most destruction of our times, the message of Sufism has global relevance,” he said at the inauguration of the four-day meet.
The reach of terrorism, he said, is growing and the toll is rising every year. “Last year alone, over 90 countries experienced terrorist attacks. Parents in 100 countries live with daily pain of their children lost to the battlefield of Syria.”
But the impact of terrorism, he said, cannot be fully captured in statistics alone. “It is changing the way we live. There are forces and groups that are instruments of state policy and design.”
The fight against terrorism is not a confrontation against any religion, he said. “It is struggle between values of humanism and forces of inhumanity.”
In the backdrop of the Bharat Mata ki Jai slogan controversy, the Prime Minister also underscored the importance of maintaining the diversity and pluralism in Indian society.
“All our people, Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, Jains, Buddhists, Parsis, believers, non-believers, are an integral part of India… Diversity is a basic reality of nature and source of richness of a society; and, it should not be a cause of discord,” he added.
It is this diversity, he pointed out, that has given birth to Sufism. “Sufism blossomed in India’s openness and pluralism. It engaged with her spiritual tradition and evolved its own Indian ethos.”
More than 200 spiritual leaders, scholars and academicians are participating in the four-day event, which is being organised by All India Ulama and Mashaikh Board (AIUMB), the apex body of Sufi Dargahs in India.