Sufi establishments across India, the All India Ulama and Mashaikh Board (AIUMB), are set to organise the first ‘World Sufi Forum’ in New Delhi.
The four-day event at Vigyan Bhawan on March 17, will be attended by more than 200 international dignitaries from 20 countries.
The inaugural ceremony, organisers claim, will be attended and addressed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
In light of “repeated attacks on moderate Islamic thought”, Sufi establishments across India are set to organise the first ‘World Sufi Forum’ in New Delhi
March 18 and 19 will be days for discussions to be held at the India Islamic Cultural Centre (IICC), while the programme will conclude with a declaration at Ramlila Maidan on March 20.
The event is focused on finding constructive ways to spread the Islamic message of peace and tolerance as a counterpoint to the global rise in violent extremism.
PM Modi is expected to address the four-day event
The meeting will underline the rich composite culture of India and the communal harmony that has existed due to the influence of Sufism in Islam.
Hazrat Syed Mohammad Ashraf, the founder president of AIUMB, said: “There are three ideologies at work in Islam in India: Shia, Sunni-Sufi and Wahabi. The Wahabi ideology has converted a peace-loving religion such as Islam into one of conflict and extremism. The Wahabi ideology is un-Islamic and we need to defeat it and the extremism that it encourages. Till now, Sunni-Sufis that comprise the majority of followers of Islam in India have been neglected by subsequent governments of the past.”
“The world needs to see India as an exporter of moderate Islam and not as an importer of extremist ideologies within Islam from outside,” Ashraf added.
“We want to position India as a global centre for moderate ideology in Islam; and show how Sufism can help tackle radicalisation and terror by Islamic extremists,” he said.