India a living museum of different ethnicities, religions co-existing peacefully, says Rouhani

Hyderabad: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, who is on a three day visit to India, has said that the country is a living example of peaceful co-existence of different religions and ethnicities.

While calling for unity among the Shias and the Sunnis, Rouhani added that Iran seeks brotherly relations with all the Muslims nations and the countries of the region including India.

In his half an hour speech while addressing Muslim leaders and scholars of different schools of thought, Rouhani held West responsible for discord between various sects of Muslims.

“India is a living museum of different ethnicities and religions peacefully co-existing. This process is going on for centuries. Shia, Sunnis, Sufis, Hindus, Sikhs and others are living together. They together built their country and built their civilization,” Rouhani said.

He added that the West has created rifts between Muslims by ‘instigating certain groups’.

“They portray themselves as Islamic groups but we call them ‘takfiri’. All those who follow ‘qibla’ (the direction in which Muslims offer namaz) and believe that there is no god but Allah and Mohammad is His last messenger are living together as brothers,” he said.

He noted that India and Iran have historical and cultural relations which go beyond political and economic ties and the people of two great countries share the same historical roots.

Claiming that Iran in recent years made efforts to end conflicts and bloodshed in the region, he said that his country plans to enhance brotherhood with all Muslim nations and countries of the region.

“Iran is not seeking any discord with the other Muslim countries who have age-old relations with us. We believe that in case of differences, bullet is the not the solution. Dialogue and logic are the tools at our disposal to overcome the differences. There is no military solution. The solution has to be political,” said Rouhani.


He said that the Shias, Sunnis, Kurds and Christians lived together in Iraq and the same was true of Syria till the West created a discord there.

“We want to spread peace and also engage in dialogue while defending our rights. In case of need, we do believe in resistance and steadfastness,” he added.

Mr Rouhani said the enemies of Islam were trying to portray Islam as a religion of violence. “The fact is that Islam is a religion of moderation, tolerance and forgiveness”, he said extensively quoting from Quran and the sayings of Prophet Mohammad.

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