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Business News/ Politics / Policy/  Islam occupies a ‘position of pride’ amongst religious groups in India: NSA Ajit Doval
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Islam occupies a ‘position of pride’ amongst religious groups in India: NSA Ajit Doval

Noting that India has been a melting pot of cultures and religions that have co-existed in harmony for centuries, NSA Ajit Doval Tuesday said Islam occupies a unique and significant ‘position of pride’ amongst the religious groups in the country

Ajit Doval, National Security Advisor (Photo: HT)Premium
Ajit Doval, National Security Advisor (Photo: HT)

Noting that India has been a melting pot of cultures and religions that have co-existed in harmony for centuries, National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval Tuesday said Islam occupies a unique and significant "position of pride" amongst the religious groups in the country.

The NSA was speaking at an event at the India Islamic Cultural Centre in New Delhi. Sheikh Dr Mohammed bin Abdulkarim Al-Issa, Secretary-General of The Muslim World League (MWL) Secretary-General, who is on an India visit, also addressed the gathering. 

Doval hailed Al-Issa as an authentic global voice of moderate Islam and a profound scholar with a deep understanding of Islam.

He also said India as the world's largest democracy and the mother of democracies is a land of incredible diversity.

Parsing the “excellent" ties between India and Saudi Arabia, Doval said they were rooted in shared cultural heritage, common values and economic ties.

"Our leaders share a common vision for the future and have been closely interacting with each other," the NSA added

"In your (Al-Issa) talk you elaborately mentioned diversity as a fundamental trait of our existence. It (India) has been a melting pot of cultures, religions, languages and ethnicities that have co-existed in harmony for centuries. As an inclusive democracy, India has successfully managed to provide space for all its citizens regardless of their religious, ethnic and cultural identities," Doval said.

"Amongst its numerous religious groups, Islam occupies a unique and significant position of pride with India being home to the second largest Muslim population in the world," he said.

“To give an idea of the scale we are talking about, India's Muslim population is almost equal to the combined population of over 33 member states of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC)," Doval added.

"Dissent does not mean disintegration, dissent does not essentially mean a confrontation. But in this country, because of your thought, because of your ideas, no one is under threat," he said.

Doval stressed that as a proud civilisational state, India believes in promoting tolerance, dialogue and cooperation to deal with the challenges of our time.

"It is no coincidence that despite having around 200 million Muslims, the involvement of Indian citizens in global terrorism has been incredibly low," he said.

Doval asserted that India has been leading the fight against individuals and organisations who are promoting extremism, narcotics and terrorism.

He also recalled the attack on the Grand Mosque in Mecca in 1979 to underscore the need for countering terrorism.

Noting that India has also been a victim of terrorism for many decades and has faced numerous terror attacks including the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, Doval said India has actively been working to combat terrorism through various means.

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Published: 11 Jul 2023, 06:58 PM IST
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