Iqbal Day observed by Iqbal Academy Scandinavia in November 2006 turned out to be an international peace seminar. The participants, besides intellectuals from different communities, were H.E. Mr. Ahmad Daniali, the Iranian Ambassador, H.E. Mr. Sead Maslo, Ambassador of Bosnia and Herzegovina, diplomats from Turkish Embassy, Egypt, Algiers and Pakistan representing their respective countries, Professor from Roskilde University Dr. Bent Greve and a prominent scholar from Mauritania Mr. Gurba Delo.
The Ambassador from Bosnia and Herzegovina presided the function and Iram Khawaja, a Ph.D. researcher from Roskilde University performed as stage secretary.
The subject of the Iranian Ambassador’s speech was “Dialogue amongst religions and international relations to avoid confrontation and bring about peace in the world.” He said that all the religions share the common theme of monotheism, the oneness of God and the Day of Judgement. He stressed that we must move ahead with this in mind that “blessed are those who seek blessing for others.”
The Bosnian Ambassador presented the idea of intercultural dialogue, as from the very beginning of the 21 century the changing world is faced with new challenges. One of them is ‘the challenge of globalisation with its different aspects including economic, political, military, defence, security, and of course cultural.’ He said that ‘the culture of dialogue and mutual respect should replace the monologue and xenophobia.’
Professor Dr. Bent Greve from Roskilde University is also a leader of Social Democrat in Denmark. He said that Iqbal is an important poet philosopher. He pleaded for constant struggle. Dr. Bent said that the peace needs a country to have good governance providing basic needs to its people and a happy and comfortable living standard. He said that the present Danish welfare system is the result of very long and constant struggle which started from 1880 and still continuing. .
Hadi Hussain Khan, Secretary General of Iqbal Academy Scandinavia, in his speech highlighted the beauty of Iqbal’s poetry. He said that Iqbal has tremendous convincing power, his poetry touches the heart and immediately captures the mind of a person. He recited a couple of Iqbal’s verses on the universal unity and then emphasised the need of multicultural dialogue in order to understand each other and prevailing an atmosphere of peace.
Abid Ali Abid, the organiser of Iqbal Academy Scandinavia and president of World Peace in Denmark, said that we cannot apart the peace from Islam. Denmark is a peaceful country, he said, but the media just like the western media is sometime acts discriminatory. About the much spoken word ‘peace’ Abid told emphatically that peace can only be achieved by unity of different cultures and faiths. Hence dialogues. Lastly he said that the strong must not impose war on weaker nations in order to gain economic benefits.
Gurba Delo, the scholar from Mauritania, addressing the peace seminar on Iqbal Day said that mutual understanding between different faith and cultures has developed the idea of global village and this idea can be materialised only by deeper approach on that way. In his speech he paid great tribute to Dr. Allama Iqbal. He said that the poet philosophers of Iqbal’s category have been very rare in the history of mankind, but whosoever presented the philosophy of the greatness of humanity his name became immortal.
Ghulam Sabir in his short address said that human beings on this planet belong to one species only. Our origin is one and that is God. The misfortune to the humankind, he said, is the result of the separation from our origin. The closer we are to God the closer among ourselves. He recited Persian verses of Iqbal about the greatness of man being the best of God’s creation and translated them into English for audience. How to “Love thy neighbour” was also explained by him. At the end he repeated the idea of departing from the origin by reciting Persian verses of Rumi on the subject followed by their translation in English by him
The main purpose of the programme was to open the way of dialogue and promote understanding among the people of different religions, cultures and civilisations.