India Abroad

OIC Summit: 'None Of 99 Names Of Allah Means Violence,' Says Sushma Swaraj At Abu Dhabi

HARSH RANJAN | 0
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| March 1 , 2019 , 14:52 IST

External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj visited Abu Dhabi on Friday to attend the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) foreign ministers meeting where she raised the issue of terror. It is for the first time that India has been invited to an OIC meeting.

Swaraj was invited as a guest of honour, and officials have described the invitation to India as a key foreign policy success in efforts to strengthen relations with Arab and Muslim-majority countries.

She strongly raised the issue of terrorism, she said, "Terrorism in each case is driven by distortion of religion. Fight against terror is not a confrontation against any religion. Just as Islam means peace, none of the 99 names of Allah means violence. Similarly, every religion stands for peace."

"Reach of terror is increasing, we are seeing the terrible face of terror; fight against terrorism is not against any religion," she added.

She further said, "Terrorism is destroying lives, destabilising regions and putting the world at great peril. Terror reach is growing and the toll it is taking is increasing. States which provide support to terrorists must stop."

"We must tell states that support and provide shelter to the terror that they must dismantle this infrastructure," Swaraj added.

Sushma Swaraj said India has forged “deep bonds of friendship” with many OIC members and robust defence & security cooperation with them.

Praising the healthy relations of India and UAE, she said, "In the past four years, few relationships have seen as much engagement, or has been so transformed, as India’s relationship with #UAE and, indeed, with the entire Gulf and West Asia Region. In a sense, it is a return of history."

India has always embraced and found it easy to embrace pluralism since it is embedded in the oldest Sanskrit religious text “The Rig Veda” and I quote “Ekam sat vipra bahudha vadhanti”, which means “God is One but learned men describe him in many ways”.

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An empty Pakistani chair was also seen as Pakistan's foreign minister said on Friday he would not attend a meeting of foreign ministers from the OIC because his Indian counterpart had been invited to the event.

"I will not go to the council of foreign ministers," Shah Mahmood Qureshi told parliament, adding that lower-ranking officials would attend to represent Pakistan's interests.