At the “World of Books 2011 Exhibition” held in Bangalore, the Quran for All Pavilion, set up by the Salaam Centre generated immense positive response from the media and the public.
“Salaams to Salaam Centre Foundation for taking up this wonderful task of enlightening us about the great religion of the world. Hopefully this work by the Salaam Centre Foundation will dispel darkness from the world and bring light into all our lives which the great Prophet (Pbuh) wanted all of us to benefit from. This would make the world a happier and joyous place to live”. K.Chandrashekara-University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore.
“It is a wonderful feeling to be treated so kindly and courteously. I am grateful for the gift which are invaluable books. Please continue to do this blessed service. This is a great step towards making Islam and the Prophet known properly to mankind”. B.S. Ramakrishna.
“I have the habit of learning about all religions and Salaam Centre has been very helpful in fulfilling this desire”. Ravi.
“By distributing books, it is a good service the Salaam Centre is doing by encouraging good living”. B.S. Naik.
“Prophet Muhammad was one of my inspirations right since my early childhood. His firm faith, belief and love has conquered so many hearts. Thanks to Salaam Centre for spreading the message of Islam which is the message of universal brotherhood and love”. Dr. V. Bala.
“I appreciate the services rendered through distributing the Quran and other books for the well-being of the entire society.” Prof Jayapakash, Professor of Zoology, Bangalore University.
“Congratulations for the excellent effort put forth to educate non-Muslims about Islam. Hope many people make use of this opportunity and know more about other religions. Your services are highly appreciated”. Latha. V
“We are not against Muslims. In fact we are all the same. This campaign should have started in 1947 itself after independence. Little bit late. But better late than never”. A. K Rao.
These were just a few of the thousands of comments in the “Visitors Book” at Salaam Centre’s “Quran for All Pavilion” at the World of Books 2011, book exhibition held at Palace Grounds, Bangalore, from September 2 to 12, 2011. The book exhibition jointly organized by Bangalore University and Directorate of Library was inaugurated by V.S. Acharya, minister for higher education, Karnataka.
The Quran for All Pavilion, set up by the Salaam Centre attracted immense attention from the public not just for its excellent ambience, but also for the “spiritual vibes” it sent around.
The Quran for All Pavilion was inaugurated by Maulana Riyaz-ur Rahman Rashadi. Chairman of Salaam Centre and promoter of “Quran for All” campaign, Syed Hamid Mohsin said, “The response was overwhelming. We gifted more than 6000 copies of the meaning of the Quran in seven languages to intellectuals of the society. We were persuaded by media propaganda and assumed that our fellow citizens had stereo-type notions about Islam and Muslims, but the reality is 180 degrees opposite. A non-Muslim who visited our stall wrote in the visitor’s book, ‘this is the best step taken to correct wrong impressions about a community’.”
The pavilion had a spiritual touch and this was also expressed by V.S. Acharya, minister for higher education. When he visited the pavilion, the media reporters gathered around him to ask political questions. But he replied, “ Salaam Centre is promoting peace, brotherhood and harmony by distributing the holy Quran. I will reply to your questions outside the Quran Pavilion”. Padma Bhushan awardee, U.R. Ananthamurthy who was accompanying him was also a witness to this and was very happy.
Later, representatives from various television channels and newspapers also visited the Quran Pavilion and collected the gift copies of the Quran.
“ Men and women who entered the pavilion felt the soothing and peaceful touch of the atmosphere inside. They displayed immense respect and even removed their footwear when they entered the pavilion,” said Mohsin.
Unlike other stalls, this pavilion had six round conference tables with chairs. Volunteers invited visitors inside the pavilion. Unwilling individuals were not compelled. Volunteers introduced the Quran and other literature and they replied to the queries of the visitors. Copy of the Quran was presented after a data form is filled up by the visitor in which he/she furnishes his basic information. Even children of primary schools have shown great interest and about thousand books were gifted to non-Muslim kids. An elderly visitor wrote in the visitor’s book that “Salaam Centre should concentrate on the younger generation. You work among them and see the result after 15 years.”
Foreign students and tourists were also among the visitors. They also showed great interest. Many of them said that they were in search of the Quran and they could not get it in their native country, but found it here. Librarians of various universities and educational institutions were among many of the visitors. Salaam Centre gifted the copies of the Quran and Islamic literature to more than 60 libraries.
Maulana Ilyas Nadvi Bhatkali who visited the Quran Pavilion appealed to other organizations and individuals involved in Dawah programmes to visit the Salaam Centre and study their methodology.
“ I am encouraged by non-Muslim intellectuals who visit our pavilion and centre,” said Mohsin, quoting a statement by K.N. Narayan Swamy, an engineer: “The Quran Pavilion is a unique concept created and executed with great spirit which will certainly contribute towards strengthening the bond between Muslims and non-Muslims.”
“Thousands of such impressions written in the visitor’s book show the strength of our society. We would like these impressions to be transferred into a force which will strengthen our society and remove mistrust and fear,” hopes Mohsin.
(For more details, write to firstname.lastname@example.org)