Resolutions passed by the two-day International Dialogue between Islam and Oriental Religions

New Delhi, 20-21 February 2010
 
At the present level of1.6 billion followers, Islam is now the biggest religion on the planet. Also, it is the fastest-growing, in terms of fresh adherents each year. However, it is not merely this reality, but the tolerant and gracious nature of the faith that has made mandatory a reaching out to the Oriental faiths that have their origin in India Hinduism, Sikhism, Jainism and Buddhism, so that those following these vibrant and ancient faiths can live in peace, trust and cooperation with their Muslim brothers and sisters. Such a move is needed in a context where several misconceptions about Islam and its Message and Mindset have been - whether by accident or design - spread across the globe, including in the country that has a sixth of the total world population, India. The International Dialogue Between Islam & Oriental Religions seeks to replace walls of mistrust between Islam and the four Indian-born faiths with bridges of affection and understanding. The Dialogue seeks to ensure a return to the syncretic and tolerant ethos that is justly regarded as being the most significant contribution of India towards human harmony
 
During the 2-day conference, international scholars from Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism gave in detail the way in which the five faiths differ less in substance than in form. Each accepts the Unity of Godhead, the infinite majesty and power of the Almighty, although this Supreme Being may be called by different names, and prayed to in different ways. The knowledge of the all-pervasive presence and power of the Almighty is the core of the faith of Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Jains and Buddhists, and unites all as brothers and sisters, children of the Almighty
 
The International Dialogue Between Islam & Oriental Religions Conference resolves that:
 
(1) Each student in school ought to be taught the core of faith, which is the divine compound of Mercy, Beneficience, Compassion and Tolerance. They need to know how similar in substance the five faiths are to each other, so that they will not in future fall prey to those who seek to use religion for political and personal ends, by creating discord and enmity
 
(2) The state needs to ensure that the rights and safety of minorities are protected, so that each citizen sees himself or herself as a proud, capable and equal part of the national mosaic of India. In every part of India, those who are local minorities (whether linguistic or religious) need to be given all the rights of the rest of the population, and protected from the depredations of linguistic and communal fanatics, who are playing the game of those seeking to reverse India's progress towards prosperity and social justice
 
(3) Women and Children are the most vulnerable sections of society, and special schemes need to be encouraged that would ensure
(a) that women be given access to the same opportunities as their brothers and (b) each child be given a chance to reach the levels that innate talents entitle her or him to
 
(4) A National Movement be launched to spread awareness of the need for unity and cooperation between the five faiths, showing in detail how only such a policy is consistent with the scriptures, including the Holy Quran. To facilitate this, the Conference recommends that a permanent secretariat be established, that would monitor the progress on this program of social knitting-together, and which would meet periodically to review methods and results