New Delhi [India], November 29 (ANI): Religion should be a unifying tool, not a divisive instrument, visiting Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs of Indonesia Mohammed Mahfud MD said on Tuesday.
The visiting minister was speaking on the role of ulema in fostering interfaith peace and social harmony in India and Indonesia at an event held at the India Islamic Centre here.
"Many times we have witnessed people who use their religion as a doctrine of absolute truth and readily blame others. We have to go out of this and improve. Religion, I think, should be a source of peace, not reason for discord, conflict, or violence," Mahfud said.
The Indonesian minister added that the purpose is to provide an opportunity for ulema from India and Indonesia, as well as representatives of other faiths in India, to discuss how religious leaders could help foster culture of peace and social harmony in an interfaith society.
"Our world is facing difficult challenges, ranging from poverty, climate change, food insecurity, pandemic, corruption, unemployment, armed conflicts, income inequality, human rights abuses, to name but a few. Where are religions when the world fights against all these common concerns? Religion must be part of global solution to address those challenges," he added.
He appreciated National Security Advisor Ajit Doval for inviting him to India with a delegation of Ulama.
"In Indonesia, we have more than 17,500 islands, with more than 275 million people; 714 tribes; also, more than 1,100 local languages; and many religions and faiths. Freedom of religion and the believers are protected by the State. Of those many religions, six are mentioned in the national administrative laws," he said.
The idea of this meeting began when Ajit Doval, discussed this idea with him during their bilateral meeting in Jakarta last March. The purpose is to provide an opportunity for ulama from India and Indonesia, as well as representatives of other faiths in India, to discuss things on how religious leaders could help foster culture of peace and social harmony in an interfaith society, Mahfud said.
Mahfud, the Coordinating Minister for the Political, Legal, and Security Affairs of Indonesia is accompanied by a high-level delegation of Ulema.
Visiting Ulema from Indonesia will also be interacting with their Indian counterparts. The discussion will be on the 'Role of Ulema in fostering a culture of interfaith peace and social harmony in India and Indonesia'. (ANI)