My response to the blatant anti-Islamic rhetoric pronounced by a professor during India Ideas Conclave in Goa on 20 December 2014

By Valery Novoselsky

Dr. Koenraad Elst from Belgium happened to be a panelist on a session entitled “Religion – Tolerance & Terror” shocked the audience with his blatant anti-Islamic rhetoric. There were too many voices of protest against what he said … the moderator could not let everyone voice their protests. I felt I had to find the way to speak out with my own opinion in defense of this faith, even I am not a Muslim.

So, I found the solution in addressing that blatant hate speech of that professor in the very beginning of my presentation on the Indian roots of Roma on a following session entitled “Culture & Nation”. Here is what I said:

“Many of us this evening were unpleasantly shocked by the blatant hate speech of someone against Islam. We all know that there are different people in each religion and their are people with wrong motivations that may interpret the same Holy Scriptures in the way they want. But why do those who criticize Islam stay blind and not see the positive aspects of this religion.

I myself am a Christian, from Romani, Jewish and Chinese backgrounds, who has lived in Israel for 20 years. And during this period three times in my life Muslim people with good knowledge of the Quran appeared in very critical moments and helped me a lot to pass through the periods of depression, hopelessness and crying out. They did not even care about my ethno-religious background. Thanks to these good will people I am safe, sound and healthy now and stand in front of you to deliver this talk on the Indian roots of Roma.

PLEASE think about the many positive features of Islam before you dare criticize this religion!”

My words had sensible support of audience!

Respectfully yours,
Mr. Valery Novoselsky,
Executive Editor, Roma Virtual Network.

Kiryat Shemona, Israel