Rouhani: India a Model of Peaceful Coexistence

Rouhani: India a Model of Peaceful Coexistence
Rouhani: India a Model of Peaceful Coexistence

Citing India as a living example of peaceful coexistence between people of different religions, cultures, and ethnicities, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Thursday called for unity among different Muslim sects. 

"India is a living museum of different ethnicities and religions peacefully coexisting. This has been going on for centuries. Shias, Sunnis, Sufis, Hindus, Sikhs, and others are living together. They together built their country and built their civilization," Rouhani said in a meeting with Muslim leaders and scholars in Hyderabad on the first day of his three-day visit to India, IANS reported.

Rouhani, who took part in Friday prayers at the historic Makkah Masjid in the city, will visit New Delhi on Saturday to meet with a number of senior Indian officials, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, President Ram Nath Kovind, and Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj, according to IRNA. 

Around 15 agreements and memorandums of understanding are expected to be signed between the two countries during the visit.

  Seeds of Discord

 Rouhani told Muslim leaders and scholars that the West is seeking to sow the seeds of discord among different Muslim communities so they should remain vigilant and united.

Shias, Sunnis, Kurds, and Christians were living together in Iraq and the same was true in Syria until the West began its efforts to undermine their unity, he said.

The enemies of Islam have been trying to portray Islam as a religion of violence, the president said, noting, "The fact is that Islam is a religion of moderation, tolerance, and forgiveness."

Rouhani added that Iran seeks brotherly relations with all Muslims nations and the countries of the region, including India.

India and Iran have historical and cultural relations which go beyond political and economic ties and the people of the two great countries have similar historical roots, he said, calling for the expansion of bilateral ties in all areas.

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