Call for Muslim-Christian Dialogue

London: In an unprecedented open letter signed by 138 leading scholars from every sect of Islam and sent to the Pope and other Christian leaders on Thursday, the signatories have warned that the “survival of the world” would be at stake if Muslims and Christians do not make peace with each other.
On the eve of Eidul Fitr the Muslim leaders have pleaded with Christian leaders “to come together with us on the common essentials of our two religions” and spell out the similarities between passages of the Bible and the Qur’an.
According to a report published in the Times on Thursday, the scholars stated: “As Muslims, we say to Christians that we are not against them and that Islam is not against them - so long as they do not wage war against Muslims on account of their religion, oppress them and drive them out of their homes.”
The newspaper said the phrasing has echoes of the New Testament passage: “He that is not with me is against me” - a passage used by President George Bush when addressing a joint session of Congress nine days after 9/11.
The Muslims call instead for the emphasis to be on the shared characteristics of world’s two largest faiths.
The letter was addressed to Pope Benedict XVI, to the Orthodox Church’s Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew 1 and all the other Orthodox Patriarchs and to the Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams. (See article in Commentary)


Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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