Mother Theresa Awards for Social Justice
A Harmony Foundation Initiative
Dr. Abraham Mathai ; President
Mahesh Bhatt, Patron
Adm. Visnhu Bhagwat ; Patron
Adv. Rizwan Merchant ; Legal Adviser
22nd September 2016
Dr. Zeenat Shaukat Ali
Mumbai – 400 050
Re: Mother Teresa Memorial International Award for Social Justice 2016 and International conference on ‘Combating Terror through Education and Peace’
Dear Dr. Shaukat Ali,
Greetings to you from the Harmony Foundation.
We take this opportunity to write to you about the Mother Teresa Memorial International Awards for Social Justice 2016 which is in its 12th year, along with an International Conference on “Combating Terror through Education and Peace” on November 20, 2016 in Mumbai, for which we would like to invite you to be the recipient of this prestigious Award and also speak a few words at this conference.
Violent extremism has become a great threat to societies around the world in the past few years. Society today needs peace, tolerance and cohesion to coexist together in perfect harmony, contrary to peddling extremism and hate to fuel terrorism which is currently on the rise globally.
In view of this, therefore, the Harmony Foundation is pleased to host this International Conference on containing violent extremism and radicalization among youths in India and across nations who are vulnerable to radical groups, in the emergence of extremist outfits across the world. This brings to our attention that the threat from violent extremism is a global and generational struggle and therefore we understand that the menace of terrorism may be best fought by education and peace.
Your consistent efforts to promote peace and harmony, as a messenger of reconciliation, in a world torn apart by strife and contention, are highly commendable.
Also to note with admiration and appreciation is your scholarly work of projecting Islam in the right perspective, away from regular stereotypes of violence, terror and extremism, with a view to correct misconceptions.
The book you launched on “Winning the Peace: A Quest” will effectively proliferate the anti terror ideology in wider circles of scholarship.
To this end it is our desire to honour you specially as the recipient of this award, as this will free minds from the venom of hate and extremism.
The Harmony Foundation considers it its most humble privilege to also posthumously honour Faaraz Ayaaz Hossain, the brave Bangladeshi youth who was killed in the Dhaka terror attack on 1 July 2016 for refusing to leave behind his friends who were from other countries, choosing instead to stand against terror and oppression, ultimately paying the highest price and laying his life down for his friends. The parents of Faraaz having accepted the invitation wrote to us saying "On behalf of my son Faraaz Ayaaz Hossain, it is an absolute honor and a privilege to have the opportunity to accept the Mother Teresa Memorial International Award for Social Justice. Though in deep grief, we, Faraaz's family, cling onto the immense pride with which Faraaz has filled our hearts. He stood up for what was right by paying the highest cost any human can pay and we hope every day that his sacrifice does not go in vain.".
The Award which is the only one endorsed by Sr. Prema, the Superior General of the Missionaries of Charity, Kolkata. was instituted in the name of Mother Teresa in the year 2005 with Medecines Sans Frontieres, the largest volunteer medical organization worldwide, being the latest recipient last year. A few of the previous recipients of this prestigious Award have been Ms. Malala Yousufzai, the Nobel laureate who has become a global icon for the education of the girl child, H.H. The Dalai Lama, a living legend and worldwide icon of conscience who is also a Nobel laureate; Dr. Mahathir Mohammed, former Prime Minister of Malaysia and Baroness Caroline Cox, the former Deputy Speaker of the House of Lords, United Kingdom.
Harmony Foundation also invited dignitaries notably the Prime Minister of Bangladesh Ms. Sheikh Hasina, former Malaysian Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, President of Sri Lanka H.E. Maithripala Sirisena, Graca Machel Mandela former First Lady of South Africa; and India’s Union Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitley, Minister for External Affairs Smt Sushma Swaraj, Governor of Odisha H.E. S.C. Jamir, former J & K Chief Minister Dr Farooq Abdullah.
It would be our honour to have you receive this prestigious award which will go a long way in proliferate the anti terror ideology which will ultimately defeat extremism and radicalisation amongst the vulnerable youth.
Sincerely yours,Dr. Abraham Mathai
President – Harmony Foundation &
Ex Vice-Chairman - State Minorities Commission