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Indian President says Islamic Centre valuable cultural bridge with UAE

posted on 24/11/2010: 785 views

Indian President Pratibha Patil said the Indian Islamic Centre (IIC) in Abu Dhabi will no doubt prove to be a valuable cultural bridge between the UAE and India, and stand as a symbol of our celebrated links.

The Indian President who is on her first state visit to UAE made her remarks as she inaugurated the Centre in a ceremony attended by Dr Hamdan Bin Musallam Al-Mazrouie, Chairman of the General Authority for Islamic Affairs and Awqaf (Endowments), MK Lokesh and members of the Indian President's delegation.

"India and the UAE have much in common in their promotion of religious harmony and tolerance towards different shades of thoughts and beliefs," she added.

Patil expressed hopes that the Centre will also serve to highlight among the Emirati community, the close and friendly ties between our two countries.

Former Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi had laid the foundation stone for the IIC in 1982.

"The Indian Islamic Centre is a tribute to the collective efforts of community leaders. It is, indeed, a reflection of the strength of character of the Indian Diaspora, in nurturing its links with the mother country, while successfully adapting to the local conditions in the host countries," she said.

The president said that the rulers of the UAE have adopted benevolent policies and provided generous support to Indian community organisations belonging to all religions. "I understand that the UAE is home to many nationalities that are living in perfect harmony with each other. This "unity in diversity" is also a hallmark of our society," Patil said.

The Islamic heritage of India is an integral part of Indian culture, she said.

Historically India has been the meeting place of diverse races and cultures, the president said.

Indian civilisation shared its richness with other cultures and was itself enriched by this interaction, she said.

The coming of Islam to India in the 8th century A.D and its sustained interface with a vibrant civilisation with deep cultural roots had a profound impact in all spheres of life in India, the president said.

"The immense contribution of the Arab world to our heritage is visible in our monuments, literature, language, administration, arts and culture." The translation of many Sanskrit works into the Arabic language during the second Abbasid period, brought to the Arab World, the ancient wisdom of India, Patil said.

The Arabs evinced great interest in Hindu sciences, especially in medicine and astronomy, she said. There was a process of cultural osmosis, the president said. – Emirates News Agency, WAM


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