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India cannot progress if Muslims are held back: Frank Islam

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By Naz Asghar

Feb 10, 2019

New Delhi: Asserting that India cannot succeed if Indian Muslims are held back, eminent Indian American philanthropist, entrepreneur and civic leader  Frank F Islam, has called upon the people of the country to ”reject the voices that seek to divide them and limit their human and civil rights and minority rights.”

”India has long succeeded because it is diverse, inclusive and tolerant…. therefore all of us need to continue to work together to build an fairer stronger, just and inclusive India with inclusive economic growth,”  Islam said  at a lecture  at the Indian Islamic Cultural Centre(IICC) here.

He strongly advocated inter-faith dialogue, saying it helps people of diverse faiths to break down barriers and build bridges

Islam, an Aligarh Muslim University alumnus, who rose to a success in America, beginning the journey of his life from the dusty streets of a small village of Azamgarh  district in eastern Uttar Pradesh, said if Muslims move up the ladder of success, they can change the landscape of India and the world.

”No religion, no race, no culture and no nation has monopoly over wisdom and or human dignity. But you need to believe in yourself and need to work hard,” he said while speaking on ”Empowering Indian Muslims Though Education and Pivot Points for Building a Better India.”

He said growing up in India had enormous impact and influence on the person he was today and ”it is here that I learned lessons from this country, my faith, my family and Aligarh Muslim University.”

The Indian American entrepreneur said he was a Muslim, and depending upon who is looking at it given conditions around the world today, it might be said that he was doubly blessed or doubly cursed.

”I feel I am doubly blessed. Being a Muslim has taught me many things–but the most important is that the whole purpose of religion is to provide justice and path to justice to all of us.”

Islam, who has generously funded educational empowerment activities in India underlined that education was a great equaliser as it enriched and empowered people.

”Education employment and inclusive opportunities can help prevent conflict and achieve lasting peace.”

”Education provided me with the essential foundation for attaining the American dream. America’s inclusiveness made it possible for me,” he said.

Former AMU vice chancellor Lt Gen Zameeruddin Shah, Vice Chancellor of Jamia Hamdard Dr Ehtesham Hasnain also spoke at the function held last evening. Earlier, IICC president Sirajuddin Qureshi told the gathering about the present activities and future plans of the Centre.

Islam, who is currently on a visit to India, said he was happy to be at the India Islamic Cultural Centre where ”you were tearing the down the walls between various faiths rather than building them.”

An information technology entrepreneur in the US, he heads the FI investment group which he set up in 2007 after selling the QSS which he had founded in 1994 with one employee and turned  it into a concern employing 2000 people with revenues of approximately 300 million dollars before its sale.

Besides he has served on the board of various prestigious institutions and has multiple industry awards to his credit.

He has also emerged as a writer and thought leader, having penned two books: Working the Pivot Points: Making America Work Again’, and ‘Renewing the American Dream:A Citizen’s Guide for Restoring Our Competitive Advantage. He also contributes occasionally to international magazines and newspapers.

He had migrated to the US at the age of 15 and did his masters in computer science  from the university of Colorado.

(India News Stream).