Welcome Remarks by Dr Arvind Gupta, Director VIF during the Special Address by Dr. Mohammad Bin AbdulKarim Al- Issa on the theme “Dialogue for Harmony among Religions” on 12 Jul 2023 at the VIF
  • Excellency, Dr Mohammad Bin AbdulKarim Al- Issa, Secretary General of Muslim World League,
  • Sh Ajit Doval, National Security Advisor,
  • Sh S Gurumurthy, Chairman, Vivekananda International Foundation,
  • Respected representatives of the different faiths,
  • Members of the Diplomatic Corps,
  • Members of the Strategic Community,
  • Members of the Media,
  • Ladies and gentlemen,

It is a great honour for the Vivekananda International Foundation (VIF) and the Global Foundation for Civilisation Harmony to welcome Dr Mohammad Bin Abdul Karim Al Issa for his Special Address on a highly topical and relevant theme “Dialogue for Harmony among Religions”. His current visit to India is highly significant. He is meeting a wide cross-section of people in the diverse, plural Indian Society. I am grateful that he found time in his busy schedule to visit the Vivekananda International Foundation.

The world is experiencing a perfect storm of tensions and conflicts. The planet and the humanity are facing existential threats of different kinds. If we do not behave and act responsibly, we face doom and extinction. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has conceptualised the Indian wisdom in the Indian civilisational maxim of Vasudhaiva Kutumbkam: ‘One Earth, One Family, One Future’. He has often spoken that this should not be an era of wars.

In this context, the theme for today’s dialogue is highly relevant for global peace. The need for moderation and reconciliation among religions is paramount. Speaking in Chicago at the first parliament of world religions, Swami Vivekananda, whose name this foundation bears, had spoken about the tolerant nature of Hinduism, respect for all religions and warned against the evils of sectarianism and bigotry. That message is still relevant.


On behalf of the Vivekananda International Foundation, I would extend a warm welcome to Dr Mohammad Bin AbdulKarim Al Issa, Secretary General of Muslim World League, a Makkah based non-governmental organisation.

Dr. Al-Issa assumed his role as Secretary-General of the Muslim World League in August 2016 and has been actively engaged in presenting the Islamic values of justice, tolerance and peace.

Dr Al Issa is widely recognised as a leading global voice on moderate Islam. His contribution for promoting moderate Islam and reconciliation has been recognized worldwide including by the representatives of the Jews and Christian religions.

In 2016, Dr Al- Issa became Chairman of the International body of Muslim Scholars and a Member of Senior Scholars’ Organisation in Saudi Arabia.

A PhD in Comparative Judicial Studies, he has worked as a Judge in the Ministry of Justice with the rank of Chief Appellate Judge. He has also worked as advisor at the Royal Court.

He currently supervises the Intellectual Warfare Center, an international center affiliated with the Ministry of Defense in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, dedicated to combatting extremist and terrorist ideology.

As a proponent of constructive dialogue with followers of different faiths, civilizations and cultures, Dr. Al-Issa visited the Vatican in September 2017 to meet Pope Francis. This led to the return visit by Vatican officials to Saudi Arabia and the signing of a first of its kind historic agreement between Muslim World League and the Vatican.

Dr. Al-Issa has since travelled extensively throughout the United States and Europe, meeting with dignitaries and parliamentarians from the fields of justice, law and human rights. His travels have taken him to German Nazi concentration camps. In March 2022, he visited the US and engaged with Muslim and evangelical leaders.
Under his leadership, the historic of Makkah Charter was adopted in 2019 against hate speech, violence, extremism and terrorism around the world. The Charter was endorsed by 1200 Islamic scholars. It is a significant document that rejects religious and ethnic ‘claims of preference’ and underlines that, “Religious and cultural diversity never justifies conflict.” Diversity is seen as “a bridge to dialogue, understanding, and cooperation for the benefit of all humanity.”

In 2019, Dr Al Issa visited Sri Lanka to meet with Buddhist and Muslim religious leaders to promote healing and integration in the wake of country’s deadly Easter attacks. He received the Order of Peace from Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena for his efforts.


We are privileged to have Sh S Gurumurthy with us on the dais. He is the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Vivekananda International Foundation. A proponent of India’s civilisational heritage and values, Sh Gurumurthy is a thought leader. He has written extensively on Hindu religion, India’s civilisational ethos and values. He is an economist, a chartered accountant, a journalist and a teacher. Under his leadership the VIF has been conducting a Hindu-Buddhist Dialogue (Samvad) on Conflict Avoidance and Environmental Consciousness which has brought together spiritual leaders of different faiths, experts and scholars for in-depth discussion and dialogue.

I take this opportunity to felicitate Dr Al-Issa with VIF Memento and some of our publications.

I now request Dr Al-Issa to kindly deliver his special address. Thereafter, I will request Sh Gurumurthy ji to give his concluding thoughts.

Thank you.

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