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Aligarh: The Centre for Inter-Faith Understanding, Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) organised a symposium and discussion on “Ways to promote Inter-faith Understanding”. Swami Shri Hari Prasad of Vishnu Mohan Foundation, Chennai, was the chief guest while AMU Pro Vice Chancellor, Prof M H Beg presided over the function.
Addressing the symposium, Swami Shri Hari Prasad, an eminent faith leader and scholar, said that all religions talk about same fundamental values and no religion teaches hatred. “What is harmful to you, do not do to others, should be the guiding principle in life” said the faith leader. He said it does not matter how and whom one prays, one should be honest and practise nonviolence. Shri Prasad said that Sir Syed Ahmad Khan was a great proponent of Hindu-Muslim unity. Citing recent events of communal amity during Kerala floods, where Hindus opened the door of temples for Muslim brothers for prayer, Swami Hari Prasad said, “my Guru taught me to spread love and peace and we should celebrate our differences” instead of fighting on distinctions. People should come together and engage in dialogue so that inter-faith relations are strengthened in society, Swami Hari Prasad emphasized.
Presiding over the function, AMU Pro-Vice Chancellor Professor M H Beg said Islam teaches us to respect all religions. “On several occasions, the Holy Prophet stressed we should follow middle path and there is no place for extremism”. Prof A R Kidwai (Director, K A Nizami Centre for Quranic Studies) introduced the theme of the symposium. Talking about Oriental studies and writings about Islam and Muslims by Western scholars, Prof Kidwai said that modern Orientalists have written about commonalities between Quran and Bible which is a positive change in  their outlook. Prof Saud Alam Qasmi (Department of Sunni Theology) reflected on inter-faith understanding in the context of Prophet Muhammad’s peace treaty with Jews and others on several occasions. He said that Al-Biruni learnt Sanskrit and Vedas and wrote about Hindu religion and society. Cultural exchange and understanding happens only this way, he added. He further said that Sir Syed learnt Hebrew and wrote interpretation of Bible to explore commonalities between Christianity and Islam.
Welcoming the guests, Prof Syed Ali Mohammad Naqvi, Director of the Centre said that none of us can live in peace if there is an atmosphere of mistrust and hate in society. He emphasized the need for inter-Faith understanding and peaceful co-existence.
(Extracted from milligazette.com)