National Security Advisor Ajit Doval was speaking on the role of Ulema in fostering interfaith peace and social harmony in India and Indonesia.

India and Indonesia need to work together to develop common narratives on de-radicalisation, said Ajit Doval, National Security Advisor at an event hosted by the India Islamic Cultural Centre on Tuesday, November 29, 2022.

"In a democracy, there is no place for hate speech, prejudice, propaganda, demonization, violence, conflict and misuse of religion for narrow ends," the NSA said.

Ulema’s Role

He said that the Ulema have a pivotal role to play. They have a leading role in educating the people on the original tolerant and moderate principles of Islam and countering radicalisation and extremism with progressive ideas and thought. "Our youth should receive special attention towards this end. They are often the primary target of radicalisation, but if their energies are nurtured in the right direction, they can emerge as harbingers of change and building blocks of progress in any society," he said.

The day-long event where Ulema will participate in three closed sessions on the themes 'Islam: Continuity and change', 'Harmonising interfaith society' and 'Countering radicalisation and extremism in India and Indonesia'. "We also need to counter disinformation and propaganda that can impede peaceful co-existence among the followers of different faiths. Islam emerged as a rallying point for the disadvantaged and was tolerant in its outlook. After the Prophet's demise fissures emerged among the Caliphs on the question of his legitimate heir. Each faction attempted to outdo the other by espousing a more radical interpretation of the Hadiths," he said.

The idea to bring a high-level Ulema delegation "National Treasures" to India is apt and extremely important. As you all are aware, both our countries have been victims of terrorism and separatism, he added. "We have overcome the challenges to a considerable extent, the phenomenon of cross-border and ISIS inspired terrorism continues to pose a threat. Cooperation of the civil society is essential in countering the threat from ISIS inspired individual terror cells and returnees from theatres like Syria and Afghanistan," he said.

Top Indonesian Minister Mohammed Mahfud MD is in Delhi on the invitation of Mr. Doval. Dr Mohammed Mahfud is the Coordinating Minister for the Political, Legal, and Security Affairs of Indonesia. He will be accompanied by a high-level delegation of Ulema. Visiting Ulema from Indonesia will also be interacting with their Indian counterparts.

In March this, Mr. Doval had visited Indonesia for the second Indo- Indonesia security dialogue.