Call for mu­tual un­der­stand­ing be­tween Is­lam, West

Pakistan Observer - - TWIN CITIES - 04:30 01:30 05:30 08:45

ZUBAIR QURESHI ISLAMABAD—Speak­ers at a sem­i­nar here on Wed­nes­day em­pha­sized the need to im­prove mu­tual un­der­stand­ing be­tween Is­lam and West say­ing it is high time we high­lighted com­mon­al­i­ties of Is­lam,Chris­tian­ity and Ju­daism rather than fo­cus­ing on dif­fer­ences.

Mus­lim In­sti­tute had or­ga­nized the sem­i­nar ti­tled ‘Westren Pre­cep­tions About Is­lam & Mus­lims: A Case of Hun­gry.’ Am­bas­sador of Hun­gry Ist­van Sz­abo, Pres­i­dent in­ter­na­tional Cen­ter for Demo­cratic Tran­si­tion Hun­gary Dr.Ist­van Gyarmati, for­mer am­bas­sador Ma­sood Khan, for­mer am­bas­sador Fauzia Nas­reen and Chair­man Mus­lim In­sti­tute Sahibzada Sul­tan Ah­mad Ali ad­dressed the sem­i­nar. Ist­van Sz­abo was of the view that Hun­gry has a long his­tory of in­ter­ac­tion with Is­lam and Mus­lims which dates back to more than a mil­len­nium ago. Sufi tomb of Gull Baba and other his­tor­i­cal places built in medieval time by Mus­lims rep­re­sent the roots of Hun­gary’s link with Is­lam and Mus­lims.

The cel­e­bra­tions in Hun­gary for cen­tury of Is­lam’s le­gally rec­og­nized ex­is­tence in Hun­gary would play an ef­fec­tive role in high­light­ing the com­mu­ni­ties. Un­for­tu­nately nowa­days me­dia rep­re­sen­ta­tions do not high­light the com­mon­al­i­ties of Is­lam with West­ern Chris­tian be­liefs. Hence, there is a need to im­prove mu­tual un­der­stand­ing. In this re­gards some aca­demics, in­sti­tu­tions and politi­cians are play­ing their role, but more has to be done.

Per­haps one of the main rea­sons of this mis­con­cep­tion about Is­lam in the West is oc­cur­rence of cer­tain in­ci­dences and un­for­tu­nate events of ter­ror­ism and vi­o­lence. Mus­lims liv- photo by Sul­tan Bashir ing in the West now have a greater re­spon­si­bil­ity to abide by the laws, their cul­ture and lan­guage to de­velop a bet­ter im­age in the host coun­tries.

Prof Ra­mazan from Uni­ver­sity of Ox­ford de­scribed 3 main prin­ci­ples to be ful­filled in or­der to be­come in­te­grated in Europe: law, lan­guage, and loy­alty. He ar­gues that ma­jor­ity Mus­lims ful­fill all three as they abide by the law, learn their lan­guage, and be loyal to their host state. Par­tic­u­lar ac­tions of a few in­di­vid­u­als should not be re­lated to whole com­mu­nity whether it is the West or Mus­lims. We should un­der­stand that the slo­gans raised for sake of some po­lit­i­cal and vested in­ter­ests should be kept sep­a­rate from re­al­ity and be an­a­lyzedin terms of fac­tual nar­ra­tives.

Speak­ers em­pha­sized that if some Mus­lims act con­trary to teach­ings of Is­lam, it should be clearly dis­tin­guished from Is­lam – which is the re­li­gion of peace - in or­der to in­form peo­ple about the true spirit of world’s sec­ond largest re­li­gion and the cul­ture that it car­ries. More­over, Mus­lim coun­tries should not be de­fen­sive all the time for giv­ing jus­ti­fi­ca­tion for such mis­per­cep­tions; rather they should in­vest and cre­ate new op­por­tu­ni­ties for their masses for achiev­ing eco­nomic growth. China has done the same and now ev­ery coun­try wants to pro­mote bi­lat­eral re­la­tions and trade with it with­out re­gard to their po­lit­i­cal and re­li­gious be­liefs. We should pro­mote bi­lat­eral re­la­tions with Hun­gry and cre­ate aware­ness about re­spec­tive cul­tures in both coun­tries so as to pro­mote mu­tual un­der­stand­ing for strate­gic out­comes and long-last­ing re­la­tions.

Chair­man Mus­lim In­sti­tute Sahibzada Sul­tan Ah­mad Ali speaks dur­ing a sem­i­nar on ‘West­ern Per­cep­tions about Is­lam and Mus­lims: A Case of Hun­gary’. Amb­ssador of Hun­gary Ist­van Sz­abo, for­mer Am­bas­sador Fauzia Nas­reen, Am­bas­sador (r) Dr Ist­van Gyarmati and Am­bas­sador (r) Ma­sood Khan were present on the oc­ca­sion.—PO

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