BY ASHRAF PADANNA February 15, 2012
TRIVANDRUM: Eminent Indian businessman and the lone non-Arab member of Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Yusuffali MA, has been selected for the maiden Indo-Malaysian International Interfaith Harmony Award.
Yusuffali will receive the award, instituted jointly by International Islamic University, Malaysia, and Kerala-based Ma’din Islamic Academy, at the international interfaith harmony seminar to be held on the Malaysin university’s Gombak campus on March 1.
A statement issued here on Tuesday said the Yusuffali was selected for the honor for his initiative to promote interfaith harmony to help ‘fortify unity in diversity’ in secular societies.
The jury comprises Dr Robert Dixon Crane, former ambassador to the United Arab Emirates, Prof Abdelaziz Berghout, deputy rector, International Islamic University, Malaysia, Richard Owen, editor, International Reportage, Hong Kong, and Syed Ibrahim Khaleelul Bukhari, chairman, Ma’din Islamic Academy, Kerala.
“Yusuffali is the fittest for this award when we consider his great endeavors and social commitment. He’s a unique person even in the business world where 27,000 people are employed without any discrimination of caste, religion, creed or nationality,” the jury commented on his selection.
International Interfaith Harmony Award is the prime attraction of the International Seminar to be attended by prominent speakers from India and Malaysia. The International Interfaith Harmony Week, a United Nations initiative, seeks to spread the message of harmony and tolerance among the followers of religions, faiths and beliefs.
It promotes the common basis of “Love of God and Love of the Neighbour, or Love of the Good and Love of the Neighbour”. There are number of programmes, organised by various organisations around the world.
“This award aims to strengthen the message of harmony and tolerance, which is the necessity to reduce anxiety, stress and personal pressure among the societies. This, especially in a secular society, is the time demanding initiative,” the statement said.
World Interfaith Harmony Week was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly on 20 October 2010 pointing out that mutual understanding and interreligious dialogue.