National Security Adviser (NSA) Ajit Doval on Tuesday told a gathering of Muslim intelligentsia and clerics that Islam occupies a unique and significant position in India and that no religion is under threat here.

Doval’s assurance came during his speech at the India Islamic Centre here which was also addressed by Dr Mohammad Bin Abdulkarim Al-Issa, Secretary General, Muslim World League.

Among India’s numerous religious groups, Islam occupies a unique and significant position of pride, reflected over the fact that India was home to second largest population of Muslims globally, the NSA said.

“India, the world’s largest democracy and the mother of democracies, is a land of incredible diversity. It is a melting pot of cultures, religions, and languages that coexist in harmony. As an inclusive democracy, India has successfully managed to provide space for all its citizens, regardless of their religious, ethnic or cultural background,” Doval observed.

To give an idea of the scale we are talking about, the NSA stated, India’s Muslim population is almost equal to the combined population of over 33 member states of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).

Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam

He was of the view that “The philosophy of cooperation and dialogue in Islam has, over the centuries, merged seamlessly with the ancient Hindu civilisational tradition of “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam - the world is one family”. He further outlined that India, by being open to accommodating various worldviews and ideas, interactions and assimilations of various cultures, beliefs, and practices, emerged as a sanctuary of persecuted people of all faiths from across the world since time immemorial.

Al-Issa, who was also former Minister of Justice of Saudia Arabia, stated that India was “a great model of coexistence” given its diversity and it can send a message of peace to the world.

“We talked about the different components of the Indian society and we have been in the past few days engaging with them. And I know that the Muslim component of the Indian society. They are, as I said, proud of their Constitution and proud of their nation and they are proud of the brotherhood that they share with the rest of the components of the Indian society,” the Secretary General of Muslim World League said.

He also appreciated Indian wisdom for contributing to humanity. “We know that here coexistence is very important. we also work on promoting stability and harmony all over the world. We know that the Indian component, with all its diversity, is a great model for coexistence not only in just mere words but also on the ground,” said Al-Issa. The Saudi leader is on a five day tour of India from Monday.