Patna, Jan 18: Islam as a religion has spread across the globe not only because of its pristine purity but also for advocating the necessity of peaceful co-existense of all religion.
This view was unanimously expressed here last night by a panel of distinguished speakers at a seminar on ''Islam : an ambassador of peace''. Initiating the discussion former Bihar Chief minister Jagannath Mishra felt that Islam has been the ''most misunderstood religion'' across the world post 9/11 attacks. He urged the people to 'understand the basics of Islam before arriving at any conclusion'. However, no adverse propaganda would be able to malign Islam at any point, he said. ''Neither the verses in the Holy Quran nor the sayings of the Prophet preached anything to support extremism'', he said lambasting the politicians for misusing religion to consolidate their vote bank.
Rajya Sabha MP and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) All India General Secretary Tariq Anwar said ''Islamic extremism'' was nothing but a mere propaganda to defame the religion.
Stating that the idea of 'Jihad' was never offensive, but rather a 'defensive phenomenon' of Islam, he said those who frequently talked about 'Jihad' were in fact mis-interpreting the religion by associating it with extremism.
State Minority Commission Chairman Naushad Ahmed also pointed out that Islam was able to spread its wings globally not because of extremism but for advocating the messages of peace and the need for universal co-existense of all religions.
As a result Islam had now become the second largest religion in the world though it started almost six centuries after the death of Jesus Christ.
Also speaking on the occasion, Editor-in-Chief of Sahara Urdu daily Aziz Barni criticised the western media for allegedly trying to deplore Islam by co-relating it with extremism.
He also blamed the US for growing extremism all over the world and alleged that it was trying to ''sabotage'' the economic sovereignty of weaker nations by controlling the three nerve centres of the world economy - The World Bank, The International Moneytary Fund (IMF) and the World Trade Organisation (WTO).