Bahrain: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Sunday said several terror groups are trying to spread poison in the minds of youth, adding that India and Arab worlds must join hands to combat terrorism.
“We must address the violence in our minds, a poison that has been spread by terror groups, harnessing the power of modern technology and social media platforms to infect our youth. We must delink religion from terror. The only distinction is between those who believe in humanity and those who do not. Terrorists use religion, but inflict harm on people of all faiths,” Swaraj said.
Speaking at the first ministerial meeting of the Arab-India Cooperation Forum, Swaraj said the meeting represents a real turning point in India’s ties with the Arab world.
She cited India’s model of unity in diversity as an example for the world to counter indoctrination and radicalisation.
“None of us can afford to ignore the dangers of radicalization and indoctrination. We do so at out our own peril, and that is why I believe India’s model of unity in diversity offers an example for the world,” she said.
Swaraj further said that the Constitution of India is committed to the fundamental principle of faith-equality.
“In every corner of my country, the music of the azaan welcomes the dawn, followed by the chime of a Hanuman temple’s bells, followed by the melody of the Guru Granth Sahib being recited by priests in a gurdwara, followed by the peal of church bells every Sunday,” she said.
Swaraj, in her speech, also quoted from the Quran, saying that faith harmony is the message of the Holy Quran as well.
“I will quote only two verses: La ikra fi al deen (Let there be no compulsion in religion) and La qum deen o qum wa il ya deen (Your faith for you, and my faith for me),” she said in her address to the key Arab nations.
She stressed that dangers of radicalisation and indoctrination cannot be ignored.
“We have seen repeatedly that terrorism does not respect national borders. It seeks to subvert societies through its pernicious doctrine of a clash of civilisations,” Swaraj said.
“The only antidote to this violent philosophy is the path of peace, tolerance and harmony, a path that was illustrated centuries ago by Buddha and Mahavira and which was taken into the modern age by the Father of our nation Mahatma Gandhi. As he famously said, ‘an eye for an eye ends up making the whole world blind’,” she said.