Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama on Wednesday appealed to Muslims in India to make efforts to reduce Shia-Sunni conflicts that are prevalent in some other countries and asserted that Islam is a religion of peace.
Lama lamented the bloodshed over denominational differences, which he said should be avoided as Islam teaches compassion and harmony.
Addressing an event at the Goa Institute of Management, the 14th Dalai Lama stressed the need for international brotherhood and harmony.
“We are part of the world of seven billion human beings. Sometimes, I suggested that the Indian community in America, England and different European countries should invite some Europeans during Diwali and New Year, and talk about ‘ahimsa’ (non-violence) which is the basis of religious tolerance,” he said.
Sunni and Shia are two major denominations of Islam. They chose sides after death of Islamic prophet Muhammad in AD 632.
“Muslims across the globe follow the same Quran and also pray five times a day. However, there are killing each other owing to differences between the sects like Shia and Sunni,” he said.
The Dalai Lama said, “I was in Ladakh. I suggested to Ladakhi Muslims that Indian Muslims should make some efforts to reduce the conflict between Shias and Sunnis”.
He told the audience that a national conference of Muslims would be organised in the coming months, which will be followed by a similar convention at the international level.
He said the modern India has remained by and large peaceful due to over 1000-year-old history of religious harmony.
“The modern and independent India is peaceful despite being a hugely populated and democratic nation,” the 83-year-old spiritual leader said.
He appealed to educationists to combine the modern education with ancient knowledge and introduce the same in educational curriculum, first within the country and then at the international level.
“We should show that if problems happen we can solve them through a dialogue. It is more important to have inner disarmament through knowledge,” he added.