Muslims must be part of India’s growth: Frank Islam

New Delhi: Muslims must take active part in shaping the future of India and be “equal partners” in the country’s “shared prosperity”, India-born American philanthropist Frank Islam said here.

Drawing attention to the Justice Rajindar Sachar Committee report of 2006, Islam said the only way forward to move out of poverty was to take up education.

His was delivering a lecture at the India Islamic Cultural Centre here on Saturday.

“I love India because I was born here and because of its art, music, history, culture and rituals. But most of all, I love India because it stands as an international beacon of democracy, diversity and peace,” he said.

Speaking of education, he said women’s education and empowerment were must if India is to achieve full potential and become a leader in the global community.

“Education prepares girls to become change agents. Their participation is vital for the future of individual family and for India,” Islam said.

In the context of maintaining social harmony, Islam said he believed in the interfaith dialogue as it “brings people together and increases religious and cultural unity”.

“Interfaith dialogue allows us to build bridges, to break down barriers and to promote a shared sense of community. India has long succeeded because it is diverse, inclusive and tolerant,” he said.

Born Fakhrul Islam in a nondescript village of the Azamgarh district of Uttar Pradesh, he moved to the US in 1969 where he built a business brick by brick through sheer hardwork and also climbed up the social ladder.