International conference on Sufism and peace begins in Pakistan

08:32, March 15, 2010      

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By Imdad Hussain

In wake of the current insecurity in the region and the world, a three-day international conference on "Sufism and Peace" kicked off in the Pakistani capital of Islamabad on Sunday.

In his opening address, Chairman of Pakistan Academy of Letters (PAL) Fakhar Zaman emphasized the need to promote the philosophy of Sufi saints to confront the present day challenges including extremism.

Zaman said that Pakistan is passing through a critical and dangerous time in history, adding the country is the land of Sufi saints who spread the message of peace, unity and brotherhood given by Islam among the people.

The chairman said that the writers and intellectuals have been playing a significant role in the history of the world and stand against the dictatorial, oppressive and fascists forces throughout the world. He said that they are conscious and today are fighting against status-quo which is against the interest of the people.

He said that they particularly came on road to fight the anti- people forces and rendered numerous sacrifices for the millions of down-trodden people.

"The message of Sufi saints can combat the dark forces of extremism and intolerance which is rampantly spreading in Pakistan and our neighboring countries," he said.

Scholars from Sweden, Italy, China and Germany while throwing light on Sufism, said that the holding of conference is very important in this hour of mankind. They said that the people of Pakistan have a centuries old civilization and have their own identity capable of surmounting the challenges.

The speakers said that the message of Sufi saints is based on love, peace and brotherhood and plays an important role in understanding the mankind. They said the great Sufi saints are not only popular among the Muslims but the non-Muslims also held them at high esteem due to their purity of character.

On the occasion, Fatima Hussain, a scholar from India, said that Sufism represents the soft side of Islam and it is non- acquisitive, therefore, it is liked in the world.

Delegates from 70 countries are attending the conference which is aimed at promoting the philosophy of Sufism as it can help fight the menace of extremism.

Source: Xinhua
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