"I wanted to know what is written in the Quran. I had the curiosity to read it," said Sawant addressing an Eid-e-Milad function organised in his Assembly constituency of Sanquelim late on Sunday. He added that he had asked one of his acquaintances to give him a copy of the holy book translated in Hindi.
"I have not read it fully yet... just a few chapters. Just as I have read some parts of the Bible. I am also trying to read the Bible. I have already read the Bhagavad Gita. In the Quran, humans are ranked above all (species). Neither the Quran, nor the Bible nor Bhagavad Gita say that other religions should be defamed and derided. The Quran says our religion is superior than most, but also adds that other religions should also be respected," he said.
Sawant, who leads a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government in Goa also extolled the state's Uniform Civil Code, saying that the state government did not discriminate between communities.
"The government does not believe in discrimination. All schemes are open for everyone. Goa is the only state to have a Uniform Civil Code. Some other states are now looking to implement the same. Goa is known for religious tolerance and bestowing equal rights all all men and women," Sawant said.
( With inputs from IANS )