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Fight against terror not against any religion: PM

Statesman News Service | New Delhi |

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Jordan King Abdullah II bin Al Hussein on Thursday expressed their firm resolve to combat terrorism and radicalization as their two countries signed a dozen agreements, including one for cooperation in the key area of defence.

The fight against terrorism was not against any religion but against a mindset that misguided the youth, PM Modi said as India rolled out a red carpet for the King, who is respected globally for maintaining the stability of Jordan in a volatile region and for promoting inter-faith dialogue and a moderate understanding of Islam.

The visiting leader delivered a special address on “Islamic Heritage: Promoting Understanding and Moderation” at a function here where PM Modi also was present. “Today’s global war against terror is not a fight between different religions or people. It is between moderates of all faiths and communities against extremism, hate and violence,” the King said.

“What is heard in the news and what is shown about religion is what separates people,” he said, adding that around the world suspicions were inflamed by what different groups don’t know about others. “Such ideologies of hate distort the word of God ~ to stir up conflicts and justify crimes and terror,” he said.

The Jordanian King said faith should hold humanity together. “We need to recognise and reject the misinformation groups promote about Islam, or indeed any religion. We need to take back the airwaves and Internet from the voices of hatred, those who have victimised our world not only with bombs and terror but also with ignorance and lies,” he said.

Inclusion is the path to the co-existence, the King said, stressing the need to build strong, successful countries. He said it would be our strongest defence against turmoil and our greatest promise of our future and prosperity, security and peace. The PM said action against terrorism and radicalisation is not against any religion, but aimed at countering a mindset that leads the young to inflict atrocities on innocents.

Complete welfare and inclusive development are possible only when Muslim youths have a Quran in one hand and computer in the other, PM Modi said. He underlined India’s ancient traditions of peace and tranquility. “Those who attack against humanity probably do not understand that they are ultimately harming the same religion which they claim to stand for. In India, it’s our belief that everyone must progress together,” the PM said.

“Whether it was Lord Buddha 2,500 years ago or Mahatma Gandhi in the last century, the peace and tranquility is spread all over the world by the charm of India. All world religions prosper in India,” he said.

The global fight against terrorism also figured prominently during the official-level talks between the two leaders, T S Tirumurti, Secretary (Economic Relations) in the External Affairs Ministry told reporters.

He said the two leaders observed that terrorism posed a serious threat to both countries and expressed their keenness to intensify security cooperation, especially in cyber security. The King spoke about India’s growing role in global affairs. He also appreciated the PM’s stand-alone visit to Palestine last month.

Tirumurti said the defence agreement was aimed at making provisions for cooperation in areas like training, defence industry, counter-terrorism, cyber security, military medical service and peace-keeping. The other pacts are in areas like health, culture, customs and mass communication.