Pope Benedict in Islam Gesture

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Pope Benedict XVI said on Friday, July 18, that the Catholic Church was open to learn from other faiths.

Benedict, the leader of the world"s 1.1 billion Roman Catholics, said that religion has a special role in maintaining peace and uniting people.

Benedict said: "In a world threatened by sinister and indiscriminate forms of violence, the unified voice of religious people urges nations and communities to resolve conflicts through peaceful means and with full regard for human dignity."

Australian Muslim leader Mohamadu Saleem said, "Muslims should become more inclusive and universal in their understanding of their religion.  At the same time, significant segments of the Christian and other religious communities should overcome their misconceptions and prejudices of Islam and Muslims."

Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams said: "If Muslims, Christians and other faith communities reach out to one another and build bridges, the whole of humanity will rejoice forever"

Prominent Muslim scholars and interfaith experts issued in February an open letter for the world"s Jewish community calling for a dialogue to improve relations between Jews and Muslims who have common ground of shared beliefs.

In March, the Vatican and Muslim leaders agreed to establish a permanent official dialogue to improve their strained relations.

2008-07-18 00:00:00

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