Modi In Brussels: Religion Is Separate From Terrorism


India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke in Brussels about the growing prevalence of terrorist attacks around the world and the need to separate religion from terrorism.

Modi, whose March 30 visit marked the first leg of his trip to Belgium, the U.S. and Saudi Arabia, attended the India-EU Summit and spoke with his Belgian counterpart, Charles Michael, according to the International Business Times.

Modi also addressed the Indian community in Brussels at the event, which was organized by the Europe India Forum. The prime minister began with a minute of silence for the victims of terrorist attacks in Brussels on March 22.

At the event, Modi spoke to the difficulties India is facing in dealing with terrorism, and expressed solidarity with the global community in fighting against extremism.

"Terrorism is a challenge for humankind, not just any one country or region,” Modi said, according to NDTV. “Those who believe in humanity should join together to tackle terrorism.”

The prime minister also stressed the importance of unity in a time of strife, and emphasized that responding to extremist attacks with discrimination against people of a certain religion would only cause further harm.

“India has not bent before terrorism, and there is no question of bending,” Modi said. “But the challenge is a huge one. I have spoken to many important leaders, including religious ones, and explained them of the need to delink terror from religion. No religion teaches terrorism.”

Modi explained that India, which has a significant Islamic minority, has experienced its share of radicalism, but that the vast majority of Muslims reject extremism as a form of Islam.

"In recent days in India, liberal Islamic scholars held a big meeting,” Modi said. “They said those who speak of terror are un-Islamic. The more such voices rise, the faster the [radicalization] of youth can be prevented.”

He also urged the United Nations to take more stringent action in addressing terrorism around the world.

“[We] can't tackle terrorism with only bombs and guns,” Modi said. “[The] misfortune of the world is that the U.N. does not know how to tackle terrorism.”

Sources: International Business Times, NDTV / Photo credit: Al Jazeera English/Flickr

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