An international conference of dialogue between Islam and Eastern religions
will be inaugurated In Delhi, Saturday, 20th February by Shri M.
Hamid Ansari, Vice President of
India. The conference is being held by major Indian Muslim organisations with
the cooperation of Jamia Millia Islamia’s Zakir Husain Institute of Islamic
Studies and the Qatar-based World Union
of Muslim Scholars.

The inaugural session of the conference, to be held at the Ansari Auditorium
of the Jamia Millia, will be presided over by the President of Jamiat Ulama-e
Hind, Arshad Madni. Special invitees include Dr Ibrahim Al-Naimi, head of the
Qatar State’s Committee for World Dialogue and World Union of Muslim Scholars’
vice president Prof. Ali Al-Quradaghi. Important Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Jain
and Sikh religious leaders and scholars will take part in the conference from
across India as well as neighboring countries. Participants include Shankaracharya
Onkaranand Saraswati of Prayag, Jain TV’s Dr JK Jain, Sikh member of Pakistani
parliament Dr Araish Kumar, Art of Livings’ Swami Sadyojathah, Swami
Shantatmananda of Ramakrishna Mission, Dr. K.J. Yesudas and members of
Parliament Sardar Tarlochan Singh, Santosh Bagrodia and M. Rama Jois.

The conference aims at building better social relations between believers of
various faiths in South Asia and open ways of communication and understanding
between the people of the region. Delegates of all eastern religions from
across the country as well as Nepal, Pakistan, Srilanka and some Arab countries
are taking part in the conference. Hitherto, Islamic dialogues have been held
only with Christians and Jews. This is the first attempt to start a dialogue between
Islam and Eastern religions.