On what this conference hopes to achieve…
We’ve got 19 scholars from around the world, on one platform, to spread the message of peace. Mumbai’s cosmopolitan climate made it the best venue for this event. We are here to clear misconceptions about Islam. There are 300 panels and 50 models installed at the exhibition to spread awareness about the religion and its history, geography and science.

On Islam and terrorism…
There are black sheep in all communities. In this case, it is the media that is biased. There are several terrorist attacks, but the media prefers highlighting the attacks made by a few Muslims. Aren’t the Tamil Tigers terrorists? Isn’t the IRA a terrorist organisation? We shouldn’t typecaste the entire community because of a few individuals who have been misguided by anti-social elements. Today the root cause of terrorism is politics.

On Taslima Nasreen…
Taslima is free to write whatever she wants, but not if it hurts the sentiments of other people. She has gone beyond just hurting sentiments; she has committed slander, which is prohibited. She has stated that the Quran is not a book of God. Most religions condemn such behaviour.

On MF Hussain…
MF Hussain should be punished. Anyone who makes nude paintings of any woman has to be punished. He has done worse by painting a goddess nude.

On Salman Rushdie’s Satanic Verses…
Rajeev Gandhi’s decision to ban the book was great, not only for Indian Muslims, but also for Hindus. The book carried abuse against the Prophet, and if you read between the lines, there was an instance of abuse against Hindu gods as well.

On Mumbaikars and their questions…
They ask me the definitions of jihad, fundamentalist, terrorist and extremist. When people ask me if Muslims are extremists, I tell them yes. We are extremely honest, extremely loving, and extremely just.

On Sania Mirza and the fatwa controversy…
Everyone has different levels of modesty. There were tennis players who wore long skirts and performed just as well. But personally, I support Sania Mirza as she prays five times a day.

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