AWANTIPORA – Underlining the significance of interfaith dialogue and communal harmony, One-Day International Conference on “Islam and Interfaith Dialogue: Challenges and Prospects” was organized by the Department of Islamic Studies, Islamic University of Science and Technology (IUST) Thursday. The conference aims to equip the scholars and students with an understanding of overcoming various challenges faced by humanity in the contemporary times, especially concerning communalism, racism, extremism, discrimination etc.The Inaugural Session was presided by Vice Chancellor, IUST Prof. Shakil Ahmad Romshoo, who was also the Chief Guest on this occasion. While congratulating the department for identifying a relevant theme for scholarly deliberations, Prof. Romshoo noted the strength of harboring inter-faith dialogue and exchanges for the overall well-being of the society. He also called on students and scholars to focus on the inter-disciplinarity while researching in this area as that would help establish cross-cultural linkages and possibilities of achieving brotherhood at every level.
The Keynote Address was delivered by Prof. Sayyid Atif Rizwan, Director of Catholic-Muslim Studies Programme with Catholic Theological Union, Chicago, USA. He brought to the limelight the meaning of the interfaith dialogue from an Islamic perspective and drew parallels between Islam and Christianity. Dean Academic Affairs, Prof. Manzoor Ahmad Malik, recollected instances of the Muslim patronage of non-Muslim scholarship in the medieval times which resulted in the creation and preservation of a treasure-trove of knowledge. Earlier, Head, Department of Islamic Studies, Dr. Afroz Ahmad Bisati presented the Welcome Address, besides introducing the theme of the Conference in which over 40 participants presented their research papers on the diverse aspects of the theme during four technical sessions held in blended form. The inaugural Session was moderated by Dr. Showkat Hussain, Senior faculty member of the department.
During the closing Session, Prof. Obaidullah Fahad, Professor of Islamic Studies at Aligarh Muslim University presented the Valedictory Address in presence of Dean Academic Affairs, IUST, Prof. Manzoor Ahmad Malik and Director of Center of Spiritual Studies Prof Hamidullah Marazi. Dr Riyaz anchored the session and Dr Ali Mohammad proposed the vote of thanks.