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My best friend is Abbas, a Muslim.

Updated: Feb 22

One can easily be misled by media hype and vested interests who have much to gain by painting a very bad image of all Muslims.

One can exercise true judgment only based on one's own experiences.

I deal professionally and socially with many Indian Muslims and find them to be just as good or as bad as everyone else irrespective of their religion.

I can also say with pride that some of my good friends are Muslim and one of my best friends for the past 58 years, Abbas Hajoori, is also a Muslim.

Nowadays wherever one looks, anti-Muslim storms are brewing everywhere. So widespread that it threatens to grow into a global tsunami. Even in Muslim countries, there is much conflict between Muslims of various types. This has nothing to do with true religion, for these are conflicts for power and dominance over resources and people disguised as the practice of religion.

India has always been a self-correcting pluralistic civilisation, where people of all faiths coexist in harmony even atheists.

Be it Gurus, Spiritual Masters, Kings and rulers they were all pluralistic. The Sikh Gurus had many Muslim disciples and followers.

Chatrapathi Shivaji the Maratha leader as did the Sikh Maharaja Ranjit Singh created and ran powerful and prosperous empires because they were pluralistic. These rulers all had many loyal and noble Hindu, Muslim, Sikh and even European administrators, soldiers and commanders.

India has the second-largest Muslim population in the world. They enjoy the highest degree of religious, economic and social freedom in the world. In India Muslims belonging to all 73 sects of Islam live freely and practice their faith without fear or hostility. This is not possible in any other country, not even in a Muslim country.

If India has to reclaim its great destiny it cannot afford to be anything but pluralistic, where all are equal and free under the law existing in a meritocracy. Free to live as he or she chooses and yet in harmony to let others live as they choose.

Barring those who still owe allegiance to Arabs, Persians, Afghans and Turks, Muslims are an integral part of our society, they are as Indian as any other person of this great land.

Indians First, Indians Always. - Muslim, Sikh, Christian, Parsee, Hindu and Atheist

Let me share something about Abbas and myself.

Abbas and I are different as an orange and a mango are, yet

  • Standing apart we stand together.

  • Facing similar challenges, we tackle them in different ways.

  • We play together, competing and sometimes disagreeing but we both consider ourselves winners.

  • Our love is the same but we express it differently.

Abbas the good Muslim, is also Abbas the great Indian.

  • He is true to his faith, but he is also a patriotic Indian.

  • A global citizen and brother to everyone.

  • He finds and draws out the good and the best in others.

  • He is religious yet respectful of all other faiths

  • When he does not keep the fast in the holy month we often share our meals.

  • He loves his children but so does he also love and care for mine.

Many of us, have people like Abbas in our lives. They represent much of what is good and valuable to society and humanity. Seek and befriend, love and cherish them as I do.


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