The contribution of Islam in the development of India's multicultural milieu was highlighted during the annual iftar banquet hosted by the Indian embassy in Egypt.
The dinner, hosted on the lawns of the India House here, was attended by Egypt's Assistant Foreign Minister for Asian Affairs, Khaled Tharwat. Members of the Indian community and eminent personalities from different fields, including representatives from the government, political parties, armed forces, diplomats, business, culture and media, also attended the event.
In his welcome address, the Charge d'Affaires, Vinod Bahad, conveyed the warm greetings on Ramazan from the people of India -- home to the second-largest Muslim population in the world.
Bahad said prayer and fasting were common to many religions in India. He also highlighted the respect and tolerance towards different religions due to the diversity of India, rich influence of Islam in everyday life, including in customs and traditions, music, fashion and festivals, and its contribution in the development of the country's multicultural milieu.
He added that Kerala, which has one of the world's oldest mosques, Cheraman Juma Masjid -- built around 629 AD -- as an example of the country's engagement with Islam in its long history of syncretism.
The iftar banquet has been a long tradition in view of the shared culture and strong bonds of friendship between India and Egypt.
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