Mangalore, NOV 20: The Religious Harmony Committee (RHC) was inaugurated in Town Hall, Mangalore, by Christian, Muslim, and Hindu religious leaders. Verses from the Bible, Kuran, and Bhagavad Gita were read to inaugurate the new committee.
Mohammed Kunhi, a member of RHC, spoke about the inception of the committee. He informed the gathering that some religious heads had come together to foster communal peace in the district, and a meeting to this effect was also organized at Nehru Stadium two years back. Although a number of meetings and conferences were organized in the district, no formal committee was inaugurated. The commitee has finally come to existance today, he said.
Vidya Prasanna Theertha Swamiji of Subramanya Mutt said that no religion preaches to disturbs societal peace. No religious text directs people to disrupt law and order. Peace is destroyed by nonreligious people. Those who really have faith in God and religion are peaceful people. He said that fire can be used to destroy as well as provide warmth. Religion is like fire. It can be used to do good as well as harm. He stated that all religious leaders desire peace and preach peace; but the followers of respective religions must also cooperate.
Thoka Ahammed Musliyar, the assistant Khazi of Mangalore, addressed the gathering and said that Islam teaches peace and love, not violence. Although many people tortured Prophet Mohammed, he prayed to God to forgive them. Islam teaches its followers to do the same. He said that Islam is a peaceful and loving religion, which teaches others to feed the hungry. The prophets of Islam have always sought to serve society and maintain peace, not create disturbances. The Islamic religious leaders of the present also want communal harmony, he said.
Fr. Rony Prabhu of Fathima Retreat House, Mangalore, said that, if one is truly religious, he will never do harm or speak ill about other religions. We have many misconceptions about other religions, which is affecting our society. All holy books give a specific set of rules for right living; and no holy book preaches violence. But many are going against their religions by practicing violence. Society will be peaceful if everybody respects the religion of others.
Dr. Habeeb Rehman, founder of Unity group of Institutions and many eminent community leaders were presnt on the occasion.