Paths to Achieving Respect Among Religions in a Seminar at the Muslim Council of Elders' Pavilion in the New Delhi World Book Fair 2024

Participants in the Seminar Affirm that Religious Teachings Call for Respecting Others, Acceptance, and Advocating for Tolerance and Coexistence

The Muslim Council of Elders hosted its third seminar at the New Delhi World Book Fair, titled "Mutual Respect Among Religions" by Father M. D. Thomas, the Director of the Institute of Harmony and Peace in New Delhi, and Sheikh Manzoor Ahmed, the Editor-in-Chief of World Urdu Service. Participants in the seminar, held at Pavilion H05 in Hall 4 in Pragati Maidan, emphasized the importance of utilizing knowledge to address various problems and challenges.

During the session, Father Thomas explained the significance of respecting the beliefs of others, emphasizing that it contributes to building societies based on mutual and peaceful coexistence. He also noted that India is a prominent example of peaceful coexistence among diverse religions, where different faiths peacefully coexist side by side.

The Director of the Institute of Harmony and Peace in New Delhi praised the efforts of the Muslim Council of Elders and its initiatives under the chairmanship of His Eminence Dr. Ahmed Al-Tayeb, the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, in promoting global peace and coexistence. He also affirmed that Islamic teachings are clear about fostering harmony and peaceful coexistence with others.

For his part, Sheikh Manzoor Ahmed reiterated the principle of "One Nation, One Society," emphasizing the need to confront those who exploit religion for divisive purposes. He added that that no religion promotes hatred, and therefore, knowledge is the society's weapon to combat ignorance, hate speech, and extremism.

The Editor-in-Chief of World Urdu Service concluded by emphasizing the importance of building bridges of understanding and communication, promoting peaceful coexistence and tolerance among diverse communities and peoples. He affirmed that unconditional mutual respect reflects the values of recognizing human dignity and basic rights, contributing to creating a positive environment that strengthens social and cultural relationships.

The Muslim Council of Elders previously conducted two seminars during the New Delhi World Book Fair, these were, "Importance of Human Fraternity in Contemporary Times" and "Interfaith Coexistence: Answers for Peaceful Living." The former featured Sanjay Kapoor, General-Secretary of the Editors Guild of India, Prof. Dr. Sameena Hameed, Senior Professor at Jawaharlal Nehru University, and Rohin Marker on behalf of Ava Khullar, President of the Delhi Parsi Anjuman. The latter seminar was presented by Mohammad Salim Ahmed, Secretary-General of Forum for Democracy and Communal Amity.

This is the second consecutive participation by the Muslim Council of Elders at the New Delhi World Book Fair, one of the largest book fairs in the region which is particularly known for its large turnouts. The pavilion features over 220 publications in 5 languages, addressing various issues and aiming to correct misconceptions while rejecting extremist rhetoric and hatred. The Council's pavilion (H05) is located in Hall 4 at Pragati Maidan in New Delhi.



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