Srinagar: A two-day seminar on ‘Interfaith Dialogue and Communal Harmony: Challenges and Prospects’ started at the University of Kashmir on Wednesday.
Vice-Chancellor Prof Nilofer Khan presided over the inaugural session of the national seminar, organised by Shah-I-Hamadan Institute of Islamic Studies (SHIIS).
In her presidential address, Prof Nilofer congratulated the department for organising the seminar on a very important theme. She hoped that the two-day conference involving experts and area specialists will deliberate on varied aspects of the theme.
“Universities could be a robust platform for such deliberations that aim to reinforce the message of harmony,” she said.
Prof G N Khaki, Head SHIIS, welcomed the dignitaries and guests, and also outlined the significance of the seminar theme in the context of the Indian Sub-Continent. He focused on the necessity of multiculturalism fostering peace and the role of Islam in it.
Prof Rattan Lal Hangloo, former VC, Allahabad University, delivered the keynote address, emphasising the rich history of Kashmir in promoting interfaith tolerance from times immemorial. He stressed on the need for revisiting the medieval phases of Kashmir to arrive at a “balanced and unbiased conclusion”.
In their remarks as guests of honour, Prof Obaidullah Fahad from AMU and Prof Farooq Masoodi, Dean Academic Affair KU called for understanding the true message and meaning of religious scriptures and teachings and realising the real purpose behind the creation of mankind.
KU Registrar Dr Nisar Ahmad Mir also shared the dais and his views on the theme of the seminar. He said the seminar topic was highly relevant and important.
Prof Hamîdullah Marazi, Director, International Centre for Spiritual Studies at IUST delivered the concluding remarks.
On the occasion, two books and the annual research journal published by SHIIS were released by the Vice-Chancellor.
Dr Nasir Nabi, Assistant Professor SHIIS moderated the session while Dr Abid Mushtaq, Lecturer SHIIS delivered the vote of thanks.
More than 150 participants including Deans of various schools, Heads of Departments, faculty members and scholars from within and outside the UT of Jammu and Kashmir attended the seminar.