In the second day of the first three sessions at India International Islamic Academic Conference, three different topics In Search of Commonality: Prospects of Solidarity, Nation-state and Citizenship: Issues and Imagination and Media and Literature: Framing Images were discussed by experts and paper presenters. They have argued that Islam encourages cultural diversity and religious pluralism. The sessions were part of two day conference organized by Student Islamic Organization at India Islamic Cultural Centre in Delhi on Monday.
Chairing the first session on In Search of Commonality: Prospects of Solidarity, Musafer H. Asadi, Professor Dept. of Studies in Political Science and Public Administration, University of Mysore, commented about the presented papers that it opened up a new debate about ourselves and various cultural practices. He further said that Islam engages with other cultural practices and co-exists that. Muslim should create a debate about cultural engagement. He also said that the Islamic perspective of human rights is the best perspective in the global world and it is beyond political. It can be included in the Indian constitution only then when there is a larger number of Muslims in politics. Nisar A. C., Dilana Thasleem K.A., Mir Suheel Rasool, Sayeeda Noushee Fatima and Azhar Ali presented their papers in the session on different topics related to the subjects.
In the second session on Nation-state and Citizenship: Issues and Imagination, Nivedita Menon, Professor Jawahar Lal Nehru University and Dr. M. T. Ansari, Professor Hyderabad Central University, delivered the expert talk on the topic. Prof. Menon criticized the concept that nation cannot be questioned. She said that in India the nation is the dominance of northern elite people. The idea of India should be open to be re-conceptualized. Criticizing the present method of citizenship, she said that the citizenship should not based on the origin of birth but it should be based on the place of work. He also opposed using the word of illegal immigrants. This terms whole human being as illegal. It is like the child of unwed mother.
Addressing on the same topic, Dr. Ansari said that Secularism and democracy is not being but it is becoming. Questioning secularism is the most secular thing. On nationalism, he argued that nationalism seems to necessary evil. We are already living in the post-national era. We should have different community. India has already accepted and acknowledged multiple identities.
Chairing the third session on Media and Literature: Framing Images, Zafar-ul-Islam Khan, author and senior journalist, said that Muslims in India are facing a lot of problems because of media. They are the victim of it and they should think how to come out of this problem. He also remarked that no paper has been presented about the composition and working of media especially India. Hasnul Banna, well-known journalist also addressed the session and urged Muslim community to counter the stereotype image of Muslims in the media. Saad Ahmad, Neethu Prasad, Sahal B. and Desmond Onyemchi Okocha presented their papers in the session on different topics related to the subjects.
In a parallel session, Prof. Syed Abdul Muneem Pasha, Head Dept.of Political Science, Jamia Millia Islamia chaired the paper presentation program on Discrimination and Social Exclusion: Concepts, Contexts and Challenges. He said that Islam has granted the equality to all human being on the base of human values. But as a result of casteism, the humanity has been put into prejudices and racism from the political stage. When we see the present situation, we get there is a huge difference between Islamic direction and practical behavior of Muslims. It is necessary to implement the teaching and direction of Islam about the caste.
Chairing a session on Gendered Identities: Enquiries and Explorations, Sheeba Aslam Fahmi, Research scholar, JNU, said that we should not cover up the gender discrimination, patriarchy and injustices practiced in Muslim society by referring the Islamic teachings. There is a huge difference between present practices among Muslims and Islamic teachings regarding Woman.
Parallely there were also sessions on Islam and Politics: Conceptual Debates and Contestations, Inclusive Economic Development and Islamic Epistemology and Research Methodology. These were chaired by Dr. Javed Zafar, Research Fellow, Centre for Studies and Research, Hyderabad, Dr. Waqar Anwar, Faculty, Indian Institute of Islamic Studies and Dr. Naved Iqbal, Professor, Dept. of Psychology, Jamia Milliya Islamia respectively.