Shura Council Chairman Attends Third Christian and Muslim Summit at the Vatican

Representing the Muslims of North America the Chairman of the Islamic Shura Council, Dr Muzammil Siddiqi, participated in the 3rd Annual Muslim-Christian Summit organized by the Vatican. The purpose of the summit is to foster better understanding and relations between Muslims, Roman Catholics and Protestant Christian communities.

The Muslim delegation included representatives from both Sunni and Shia schools of thought who traveled from Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and the United States. After three days of discussions, the summit concluded with the following three key areas as its principal focus:

  • To pursue shared interests in each other's faith for world peace.
  • To visit conflict areas to foster better understanding among all people.
  • To work together to help youth connect with their respective faiths.

Dr Muzammil Siddiqi extended an advance welcome to the Pope for his next year's visit to the United States and also requested him to allocate time in his schedule to meet with the Muslim leaders of North America. Dr Siddiqi is a member of the Muslim-Christian Summit steering committee that will plan the next summit to be hosted in Tehran, Iran.

Pope Francis led the third Christian and Muslim Summit in the Vatican. It's a way to strengthen the ties and understanding between both religions.

One by one, Pope Francis greeted all those in attendance, which included people from Iraq, Turkey and Jordan.

Prince El Hassan bin Talal of Jordan was also present and he exchanged a few words with the Pope. Jordan is known for welcoming refugees, many of whom are Christians from neighboring countries. The Pope also greeted world renowned Islamic scholar and most respected Muslim religious leader of the United States, Dr Muzammil H. Siddiqi at the Vatican.

Since coming back from Turkey, the Pope has emphasized the importance of governments respecting religious freedom and the need to improve understanding between Christians and Muslims.

Press Release of the Christian-Muslim Summit of Religious Leaders and Scholars: " The Christian-Muslim Summit is a gathering of Christian (Catholics and Anglican Episcopal) and Muslim (Sunni and Shia) religious leaders and scholars from around the world who come together for purposes of fostering interreligious and intercultural relationships and to address issues of conflict, in particular between the followers of both religions.

"The Summit was held in Rome from Tuesday 2 to Thursday 4 December, 2014.

The Catholic delegation was headed by His Eminence Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue; the Sunni delegation was led by HRH Prince El Hasan bin Talal of Jordan, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Royal Institute for Interfaith Studies (Amman, Jordan). The Right Reverend John Bryson Chane, Eighth Bishop of the Anglican Episcopal Diocese of Washington, and Senior Advisor on Interreligious Dialogue to Washington National Cathedral, headed the Anglican Episcopal Delegation; Ayatollah Sayyed Prof. Mustafa Mohaghegh Damad, Director of Islamic Studies, Iran Academy of Sciences, led the Shia Delegation.

Guests of Honor were invited; among them was His Eminence Metropolitan Emmanuel of France, representing the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, and Rabbi Abraham Skorka, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

"The theme chosen for reflection and discussion by the participants was 'Christians and Muslims: Believers in Society'..."




Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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