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At Indo-Bangla conference, scholars discuss threats from religious extremism, terrorism

New Delhi: Delegates and Islamic scholars from India and Bangladesh discussed challenges posed by religious extremism and terrorism by radical groups in neighbouring countries at an Indo-Bangla Conference held in the national capital.
Titled 'Role of Civil Societies in Strengthening Bilateral Relations,' the roundtable event took place at the Indo-Islamic Heritage Centre on Friday.
"Sufism does not support terrorism, radicalism and extremism. Sufism has always worked for peace and has always worked for international harmony," Mohammad Abdur Rahim, Joint General Secretary, Bangladesh Islami Front (BIF) and participant at the conference told ANI.
Rahim noted that terror organizations like Jamaat-e-Islami, ISIS and Jaish-e-Mohammed promote terrorism and are "not related to Islam".
Speaking on ties between India and Bangladesh, Rahim said that the two countries share spiritual background.
"India and Bangladesh have always shared a strong spiritual background, as scholars like Ashraf Jahangir Semnani, Khwaja Muinuddin Chishti, Ahmed Raza Khan and Nizamuddin Auliya have followers in both countries, who relentlessly work for establishing peace and are countering terrorism", Rahim said.
Another participant from Bangladesh at the conference, Dr Hafeezur Rehman said that New Delhi and Dhaka should fight together against radicalization as both South Asian countries are deep believers of Sufism.
"When we were fighting for the liberation of Bangladesh in 1971, the Pakistan Army and the Jamaat-e-Islami volunteers were killing people as they were not Urdu-speaking people. They killed both Muslims and non-Muslims who were Bengali speakers. All this happened because of JEI's radicalized literature which was written by Abu al-A'la al-Mawdudi. Our roots have soared through Sufism and we must carry forward the teachings of various Islamic scholars" he said.
Praising Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision for global unity and for the success of the G20 summit, Rehman said, "India has since ages preached universal brotherhood through Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam".
He said under India's leadership of the G20, the summit brought together leaders and representatives from various nations.
"India has been preaching universal brotherhood for more than 5,000 years through Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam which was also India's motto during the recently held G20 summit. Similarly, the teachings of Islam in Hadith also support that all creation is the family of god," Rehman added.
He further said that imbibing teachings from India can play a major role in uniting the people irrespective of caste, creed, gender and religion.
"It is high time to eliminate radical literature completely. As this will unite and integrate our youth which will eliminate radicalism of any thought", he said.

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