Saturday, March 3, 2018

Inspiring speeches on religious pluralism and tolerance by King Abdullah II of Jordan and Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India at conference on 'Islamic Heritage: Promoting Understanding and Moderation' in New Delhi

The President, Shri Ram Nath Kovind and the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi with the King of Jordan His Majesty Abdullah II Bin Al-Hussein, at the Ceremonial Reception, at Rashtrapati Bhavan, in New Delhi.
Pic and caption courtesy:

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Pics above courtesy: and

Ravi: I think this is the first time I am hearing the King of Jordan, Abdullah II, speaking on Islam and other religions. I find him to be a very impressive speaker on moderate Islam! What a pleasant surprise it was for me to see him speaking about moderate Islam and inter-religious tolerance at the conference on 'Islamic Heritage: Promoting Understanding and Moderation' in New Delhi on March 1st 2018, in this youtube video:, around 12 mins.

I knew that his English was very good but I did not know that he claims to be a "a 41st-generation direct descendant of [Prophet] Muhammad", The wiki page also states, "Abdullah is popular locally and internationally for maintaining Jordanian stability, and is known for promoting interfaith dialogue and a moderate understanding of Islam. The third-longest-serving Arab leader, he was regarded by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Center as the most influential Muslim in the world in 2016. Abdullah is custodian of the Muslim and Christian sacred sites in Jerusalem, a position held by his dynasty since 1924."

Given below is the transcript of his speech from :

In the name of God, the Most Merciful, the Compassionate,

My dear brother, Prime Minister,
Professor Wasey,
Distinguished guests,
Ladies and gentlemen,
My dear friends,

Thank you so much for allowing me this opportunity to be able to exchange with you today, and I am truly, truly honoured to be among you to talk about something that is so important to me—the role of faith in the future of our world.

Too much of what’s heard in the news or seen online about religion today is all about what separates people. Around the world, suspicions are inflamed by what different groups don’t know about others. And such ideologies of hate distort the word of God to stir up conflict and justify crimes and terror.

And we need to take these dangers seriously. But they should never be allowed to distract us from the truth—that faith should draw humanity together.

It is faith that brings us the Golden Commandments, commandments held in common by multiple world religions—to love God and the good, and love our neighbour.

It is faith that inspires the everyday experiences of people in countries like India and Jordan, where different religious and ethnic groups have lived and worked together in amity throughout history.

It is faith that allows us to prosper and thrive, bringing together different civilisations and cultures around the common principles of humanity.

So, my friends,
Where did human diversity begin? God Almighty says in the Holy Quran:
Bismillah ar-Rahman ar-Rahim
‘People! We created you from a single pair of male and female and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other. The most honoured of you in the sight of God is the most righteous of you.’
Saddaka Allahu Al Atheem

To understand each other. To recognise our shared humanity. To act righteously in the sight of God. This is my faith, the faith I teach my children; the faith shared by 1.8 billion Muslims around the world, a quarter of humanity. This is traditional, tolerant, plural, and Mathahib-based Islam—dedicated to the love of God; following the Prophet Mohammad, peace and blessings be upon him; and seeking to live in virtue and treat others with justice and kindness.

Every day when I was growing up, I heard among the names of God: ‘the Compassionate, the All-Merciful’. Every day I heard the greeting, Assalamu alaikum—the blessing of peace. Every day, I learned that it was a Muslim’s duty to defend the defenceless and help those in need. Every day, I was taught my family’s Muslim heritage, the heritage that strengthens me in fulfilling my sacred duty today, towards my people, my country, and as Hashemite Custodian of Jerusalem’s Islamic and Christian Holy Sites.

A hundred years ago, my great-great-grandfather, Sharif Hussein bin Ali, who had launched the Great Arab Revolt, was asked to help Christian refugees fleeing into the Arab world—families with their meagre belongings, escaping persecution in their old homeland. And the Sharif instructed his sons, Emirs of Arab countries, and other local leaders, to protect these strangers, “in the same way you would protect yourselves, your properties, your children.”

The teaching behind the Sharif’s letter—compassion, mercy, respect for others—was passed on to me by my father, His late Majesty King Hussein. And my father passionately believed that leadership—at any level, in any place; in school and community; in the army or the public service or in any other role—all leadership, means serving for the hopes and the good of others.

This is my duty, rooted in our religion, Islam. It is why my highest priority is serving Jordan’s people—encouraging their talents, struggling against their hardships, and securing a better future for all. And I am not alone. My fellow Jordanians, Muslim and Christian alike, have worked together to build the future, not only for our country, but for neighbours near and far, including hosting millions of refugees from regional turmoil.

Indeed, Jordanians are working globally for dialogue and peace. Among many things, my country was honoured to initiate World Interfaith Harmony Week—an annual UN observance promoting mutual understanding. And the text of our resolution specifically included language to be inclusive of all people of good will, including both Muslims and Hindus.

My friends,
It was wisely said, the world is one family. However different our countries and our peoples are, we have a shared responsibility—to each other, as well as to the future.

The Prophet Mohammad, peace and blessings be upon him, said: ‘None of you has faith until you love for your neighbour what you love for yourself.’

Compassion, mercy, tolerance—these are values that are shared by billions of Muslims and non-Muslims around the world. And these values require us, together, to act for our common future.

And the truth is that today’s global war against terror is not a fight between different religions or peoples. It is between moderates, of all faiths and communities, against extremists whose faith is hate and violence.

We need to recognise and reject the misinformation such groups promote about Islam, or indeed, any other faith.

We need to take back the airwaves, and the Internet from the voices of hatred—those who have victimised our world, not only with bombs and terror, but with ignorance and lies.

We need to make sure young people learn the true values of our religions. And let us teach them to honour our shared civilisation of global learning. Much ancient thought and science was preserved through the efforts of Islamic scholars working in the Arab House of Wisdom and elsewhere. And here in India, hundreds of years ago, Muslim scholars translated Sanskrit writings, and Hindu librarians collected texts of many traditions. And today, academics and scientists across the world share ideas that can take us all into an exciting future of prosperity and peace.

So my friends,
Above all else, our peoples need to ensure that no one, no one is excluded from the promise of that future. We cannot afford to allow young people to be left without hope, trapped in isolation, and vulnerable to the false promises of outlaw groups.

So inclusion is the path to the coexistence we need to build strong successful countries. It is our strongest defence against turmoil and our greatest promise of a future of prosperity, security, and peace.

This is not just the responsibility of institutions and public bodies, global and national—as important as they are. It is at heart a matter for every person, in how we live our daily lives, in how we treat others, and in our strong hand of friendship.

Today, let all people, Muslim and non-Muslim, reach out to each other. In the hands of friendship, we have the power to grasp a better future for our entire world.

Thank you very much.

--- end transcript of King Abdullah's speech ----

Here is the video of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Hindi speech at the same event, with perhaps PM Modi speaking before King Abdullah:, 16 min. 9 secs. Given below is the transcript from I could not find an English translation of the speech. So I have inserted my amateur English translation (may have some errors) within the Hindi speech transcript below.

Your Majesty जॉर्डन नरेश जनाब अब्दुल्ला ईब्न अल हुसैन, [The King of Jordan, Abdullah ibn Al Hussein]

यहां मौजूद धार्मिक विद्वान और
शीर्षस्थ नेता,
सम्मानीय अतिथिगण,
[To the religious scholars and leaders and other esteemed guests present here:]

मेरे लिए यह बहुत ख़ुशी और गर्व की बात है कि आज, जॉर्डन नरेश, भारत के कुछ चुनिंदा धार्मिक विद्वान और नेताओं के इस समूह के बीच उपस्थित हैं।
[It is a matter of great happiness for me that today the King of Jordan is  present amongst some selected religious scholars and leaders in this gathering.]

आपके बारे में कुछ कहना शब्दों के दायरे से परे है। इस्लाम की सच्ची पहचान बनाने के लिए आपकी महत्वपूर्ण भूमिका को भी बताया नहीं जा सकता, उसे सिर्फ महसूस किया जा सकता है।
[Telling something about you (sir) [referring to king of Jordan] is beyond the limit of words. The important role you have played in making/establishing the right interpretation of Islam, also cannot be expressed. It can only be experienced.]

His Highness, Prince Ghazi की जिस किताब का अभी ज़िक्र किया गया, वो भी जॉर्डन में आपकी सरपरस्ती में हुई कोशिशों का नतीजा है।
[The mention of the book by His Highness, Prince Ghazi, that was made now, that too is the result of efforts done under your patronage.]

मुझे पूरी उम्मीद है कि जिज्ञासुओं के लिए इस्लाम को समझने में वो बड़ी मददगार होगी और उसे दुनिया भर के युवा पढ़ेंगे।
[I am quite sure (have high hopes) that it will be very helpful for spiritual aspirants to understand Islam and that it will be read in the whole world by youth.]

[Ravi: The book seems to be the one described here with title, "A Thinking Person’s Guide to Islam": . About the author from the link, "H.R.H. Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad bin Talal of Jordan (b. 1966 CE) was educated at Harrow School, UK; received his BA Summa cum Laude from Princeton University, NJ, USA; his first PhD from Trinity College, Cambridge University, UK, and his second PhD from Al-Azhar University, Cairo, Egypt. He is a Professor of Islamic Philosophy and his book Love in the Holy Qur’an has been widely acclaimed, has gone into ten editions and has been translated into a number of languages. He also serves as Chief Advisor for Religious and Cultural Affairs to H.M. King Abdullah II ibn Al-Hussein of Jordan.".

The link has a video of the book launch in London, UK, where the author speaks: Book Launch: A Thinking Person's Guide to Islam | H.R.H. Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad,, 1 hr. 15 mins, published 11th March 2017.] 

जिस आसानी से, जिस सरलता और सादगी से आपने इस जलसे में आने की मेरी गुज़ारिश को accept किया, उसमें भारत के प्रति और यहां के लोगों के प्रति आपके लगाव की बहुत साफ झलक मिलती है।
[The readiness, the straight-forward and simple way in which you accepted my request (invitation) to attend this meeting/event, shows a clear glimpse (indication) of your attachment (affection) towards Bharat (India) and its people.]

Your Majesty,

आपका वतन और हमारा दोस्त देश जॉर्डन इतिहास की किताबों और धर्म के ग्रंथों में एक अमिट नाम है।
[Your country and our friend nation, Jordan, is an indelible name in the books of history and in the scripture of religions.]

जॉर्डन एक ऐसी पवित्र भूमि पर आबाद है जहां से ख़ुदा का पैग़ाम पैगम्बरों और संतों की आवाज़ बनकर दुनिया भर में गूंजा।
[Jordan is populated (based) on such a holy land from where the message of God, becoming (through) the voice of messengers and saints, has echoed the world over.]

Your Majesty,

आप स्वयं विद्वान हैं और भारत से अच्छी तरह वाकिफ़ हैं। आप भली प्रकार जानते हैं कि दुनिया के सभी बड़े धर्म भारत के पालने में पले-बड़े हैं।
[You (sir) are a scholar yourself and are well informed (knowledgeable) about Bharat (India). You know very well that all the major religions in the world have grown with nourishment (encouragement) from Bharat (India).]

दुनिया भर के मज़हब और मत भारत की मिट्टी में पनपे हैं। यहां की आबोहवा में उन्होंने ज़िन्दगी पाई, साँस ली।
[The religions (faiths) and sects of the whole world have been fed by the soil of India. They found life and breathed in this place's environment (water and air).]

चाहे वह ढाई हज़ार साल पहले भगवान बुद्ध हों या पिछली शताब्दी में महात्मा गांधी।
[Whether that is Bhagavan Buddha two and a half thousand years ago or Mahatma Gandhi in the last century.]

अमन और मुहब्बत के पैग़ाम की ख़ुशबू भारत के चमन से सारी दुनिया में फैली है। यहाँ के सन्देश की रौशनी ने सदियों से हमें सही रास्ता दिखाया है।
[The fragrance of the message of peace and love from the garden of flowers of Bharat (India) has spread to the whole world. The light of the message of this place has shown us the right path for centuries.]

इस सन्देश की शीतलता ने घावों पर मरहम भी लगाया है। दर्शन और मज़हब की बात तो छोड़ें। भारत के जनमानस में भी यह अहसास भरा हुआ है कि सबमें एक ही रौशनी का नूर है। कि ज़र्रे-ज़र्रे में उसी एक की झलक है।
[The coolness of this message has applied balm on wounds too. Leave aside the matter of scripture and religion, the people of Bharat (India) are full of the feeling (experience) that in all there is the spark (light) of the same (only) ONE (divine) light, that in every grain/particle there is a glimpse of that same ONE.]

Your Majesty,

भारत की यह राजधानी दिल्ली, पुरानी मान्यता का इन्द्रप्रस्थ है। यह सूफियाना कलामों की सरज़मी भी रही है।
[This capital of Bharat (India), Delhi (Dilli), is the Indraprastha as per ancient belief. This has also been the land (city) of (Islamic) Sufi masters (theologians).]

एक बहुत अज़ीम सूफी संत हज़रत निज़ामुद्दीन औलिया, जिनका ज़िक्र कुछ देर पहले किया गया, उनकी दरगाह यहां से कुछ ही दूरी पर है। दिल्ली का नाम 'देहलीज़' शब्द से निकला है।
[One very great (Islamic) Sufi saint Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya, whose mention had been made a little earlier - his mausoleum (tomb) is quite near from here. The name of Delhi (Dilli) has come from the word, 'Dahleej'. [Ravi: A dictionary states that Dahleej means doorstep but I don't know whether that's the right interpretation in this context.]

गंगा-जमुना के दो-आब की यह देहलीज़ भारत की मिली-जुली गंगा-जमुनी संस्कृति का प्रवेश द्वार है। यहाँ से भारत के प्राचीन दर्शन और सूफियों के प्रेम और मानवतावाद की मिलीजुली परम्परा ने मानवमात्र की मूलभूत एकता का पैगाम दिया है।
[The gateway (doorstep) of the two waters (rivers) of Ganga and Jamuna, is the entrance to the intermixed Ganga-Jamuna (Hindu-Muslim) culture of Bharat (India). From here the intermixed tradition of ancient scripture of Bharat (India) and the love and humanitarianism of (Islamic) Sufis have given the message of the essential unity of 'Maanavmatra' (whole mankind?).]

[From, "Ganga-Jamuni Tehzeeb (Hindustani: गंगा जमुनी तहज़ीब, گنگا جمنی تھذیب‬, Ganges-Yamuna Culture) is a term used for the culture of the central plains of Northern India, especially the doab region of Ganges (Ganga) and Yamuna rivers, which is regarded as a fusion of Hindu and Muslim elements."]

मानवमात्र के एकात्म की इस भावना ने भारत को 'वसुधैव कुटुम्बकम्' का दर्शन दिया है। यानि भारत और भारतीयों ने सारी दुनिया को एक परिवार मानकर उसके साथ अपनी पहचान बनाई है।
[This united (as of same essence/nature/soul) feeling of 'Maanavmatra' (whole mankind?) has given Bharat (India) the scriptural teaching of 'world is one family'. That is, Bharat (India) and Bharatiyas (Indians) have considered the whole world as one family and has identified (behaved?) with it in that manner.]

सांस्कृतिक और सामाजिक विविधता और बहुलता, और हमारे नज़रिये का खुलापन- यह भारत की पहचान है। विशेषता है। हर भारतीय को गर्व है अपनी इस विशेषता पर। अपनी विरासत की विविधता पर, और विविधता की विरासत पर। चाहे वह कोई ज़ुबान बोलता हो। चाहे वह मंदिर में दिया जलाता हो या मस्जिद में सज़दा करता हो, चाहे वह चर्च में प्रार्थना करे या गुरुद्वारे में शबद गाये।
[Cultural and social diversity and plurality, and our openness of vision - this is the distinguishing feature of Bharat (India). It is her special feature. Every Bharatiya (Indian) is proud of this special feature of ours, of the diversity of our legacy, and of the legacy of our diversity, no matter what language he speaks, whether he lights a lamp in a temple, prays in a mosque, prays in a church or sings the holy word in a Gurudwara (Sikh temple).]

Your Majesty,

अभी भारत में होली का रंग भरा त्योहार मनाया जा रहा है। कुछ ही दिन पहले बौद्ध नव वर्ष शुरु हुआ है।
[Now Bharat (India) is celebrating the colourful Holi festival. A few days ago, the Buddhist new year has started.]

इस माह के अंत में गुड फ्राईडे और कुछ हफ्ते बाद बुद्ध जयंती सारा देश मनायेगा।
[At the end of this month, Good Friday and Buddha's birthday will be celebrated by the whole country.]

फिर कुछ ही समय बाद रमज़ान का पवित्र महीना होगा, जिसके अंत में ईद-उल-फितर हमें त्याग और पारस्परिक सौहार्द्र और सामंजस्य की याद दिलायेगा।
[Then, after a little time, the holy month of Ramzan will come, at the end of which Id-ul-Fitr will remind us of sacrifice and (living in) mutual harmony and (social) cohesion.]

ये कुछ उदाहरण उन अनेक भारतीय त्यौहारों के हैं जो शान्ति और सौहार्द्र के पर्व हैं।
[These are some examples of the many Bharatiya (Indian) festivals which are festivals of peace and harmony.]


दुनिया के सबसे बड़े लोकतंत्र भारत में democracy एक राजनैतिक व्यवस्था ही नहीं बल्कि समानता, विविधता और सामंजस्य का मूल आधार है।
[In the world's largest democracy - India - democracy is not only a political system but is the core basis of equality, diversity and (social) cohesion.]

Indian democracy is a celebration of our age old plurality. यह वो शक्ति है जिसके बल पर हर भारतीय के मन में आपने गौरवशाली अतीत के प्रति आदर है, वर्तमान के प्रति विश्वास है और भविष्य पर भरोसा है।
[This is that power based on which, each Indian has reverence for our proud past, has confidence in the present, and has faith in the future.]


हमारी परम्परा की समृद्ध विविधता हमें वह संबल देती है जो आज के अनिश्चितता और आंशका से भरे विश्व में, और हिंसा और द्वेष से प्रदूषित संसार में, आतंकवाद और उग्रवाद जैसी चुनौतियों से लड़ने के लिए बेहद ज़रुरी है।
[The rich diversity of our traditions gives us that support (stability) which, in a world filled with instability and doubt, in society which is polluted with violence and hatred, to fight challenges like terrorism and insurgency, is very much required.]

हमारी यह विरासत और मूल्य, हमारे मज़हबों का पैगाम और उनके उसूल वह ताक़त हैं जिनके बल पर हम हिंसा और दहशतगर्दी जैसी चुनौतियों से पार पा सकते हैं।
[This legacy and values of ours, the messages and principles of our faiths (religions) is that strength based on which we can overcome challenges like violence and terrorism.]


[Note: I (Ravi) have run out of steam for doing this translation stuff. I need to frequently look up the meaning of some Hindi words used by PM Modi in this speech, on the Internet. So it is pretty slow and laborious work. Hope to provide the English translation of the parts below later on.]

इंसानियात के ख़िलाफ़ दरिंदगी का हमला करने वाले शायद यह नहीं समझते कि नुकसान उस मज़हब का होता है जिसके लिए खड़े होने का वो दावा करते हैं।

आतंकवाद और उग्रवाद के ख़िलाफ़, radicalization के ख़िलाफ़ मुहिम किसी पन्थ के ख़िलाफ़ नहीं है। यह उस मानसिकता के ख़िलाफ़ है जो हमारे युवाओं को गुमराह करके मासूमों पर ज़ुल्म करने के लिए आमादा करती है।

Your Majesty,

भारत में हमारी यह कोशिश है कि सबकी तरक्की के लिए सबको साथ लेकर चलें। क्योंकि सारे मुल्क की तकदीर हर शहरी की तरक्की से जुड़ी है। क्योंकि मुल्क की खुशहाली से हर एक की खुशहाली बाबस्ता है।


आपकी इतनी बड़ी तादाद में यहां मौजूदगी इस बात का संकेत है कि आने वाली पीढ़ियों को रास्ता दिखाने के लिए आपके मन में कितनी ललक है, कितना जज़्बा है।

यह इस बात का भी प्रतीक है कि आपके ज़हन में युवाओं की तरक्की पर ही नहीं, उन्हें इन्सानी उसूलों की तालीम पर भी तवज्जो है।

पूरी ख़ुशहाली, समग्र विकास तभी संभव है जब आप यह देखें कि मुस्लिम युवाओं के एक हाथ में कुरान शरीफ़ हो तो दूसरे में कंप्यूटर।

मज़हब का मर्म अमानवीय हो ही नहीं सकता। हर पन्थ, हर संप्रदाय, हर परंपरा मानवीय मूल्यों को बढ़ावा देने के लिए ही है।

इसलिए, आज सबसे ज्यादा ज़रूरत ये है कि हमारे युवा एक तरफ मानवीय इस्लाम से जुड़े हों और दूसरी तरफ आधुनिक विज्ञान और तरक्की के साधनों का इस्तेमाल भी कर सकें।

Your Majesty,

आपके मार्गदर्शन में जो क़दम उठाये जा रहे हैं वो दरिंदगी की आग पर काबू पाने में बहुत मददगार हैं।

हमारे लिए ख़ुशी की बात है कि Amman Declaration पर दस्तख़त करने वालों में दो भारतीय भी शुमार हैं और वे इस वक्त हमारे बीच हैं।

हमारी कोशिश है कि आप जैसे प्रभावशाली नेताओं के साथ मिलकर, जॉर्डन जैसे दोस्तों के साथ और सभी सम्प्रदायों के, मज़हबों के नेताओं के सहयोग से एक ऐसी ज़िम्मेदाराना जागरुकता पैदा हो जो सारी मानवता को रास्ता दिखाये।

इस बारे में हमारी तमाम कोशिशों में आपकी मौजूदगी से और भी ताक़त मिलेगी। De-radicalization पर आपने जो काम किया है, इस तरह के प्रयासों में भारत आपके साथ क़दम–ब-क़दम चलना चाहेगा।

हज़ार से ऊपर की तादाद में भारत के उलेमा, धार्मिक विद्वान और नेता, इस बात का यकीन दिलाने के लिए यहाँ मौजूद हैं। वे यहां इसलिए भी मौजूद हैं कि जिससे आपके ख्यालात को सुन सकें। क्योंकि आपकी रहबरी से हमें हौसला भी मिलेगा, और दिशा भी। मैं आपका बहुत शुक्रगुज़ार हूं कि आपने यहां आने का न्यौता कुबूल फरमाया।


इस जलसे में शिरकत के लिए मैं आपको भी बहुत शुक्रिया अता करता हूं।

बहुत-बहुत धन्यवाद।

--- end PM Modi speech ----

Some articles about the event are given below:
*) Jordan King listening, PM Narendra Modi says fight is against terror, not any religion (by Shubhajit Roy),, 2nd March 2018

*) Indian Muslims must adopt Jordan's King Abdullah's Amman Message: Ending takfirism key to getting rid of radicalism (by Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi),, 2nd March 2018

*) Global war against terror is not a fight between people or religions: Jordan King Abdullah II (by Suhasini Haidar),, 1st March 2018

[I thank,,, and wikipedia, and have presumed that they will not have any objections to me sharing the above extracts and pics from their websites on this post which is freely viewable by all, and does not have any financial profit motive whatsoever.]

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