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Islamic leader: Pope should proclaim Islam as religion of peace

Catholic World News - June 11, 2013

A spokesman for Egypt’s influential Al Azhar University has said that a restoration of friendly ties between the Islamic institution and the Vatican will come when Pope Francis proclaims that Islam is a peaceful religion.

Mahmound Abdel Gawad, the spokesman for the Islamic university, said that Al Azhar broke off a series of inter-faith talks with the Vatican in response to statements by Pope Benedict XVI, criticizing the Egyptian government’s failure to protect the Christian minority. The university has not quarrel with Pope Francis, he said, and “the doors of Al Azhar are open.”

Nevertheless, the Islamic envoy said that relations would be enriched if the Pope would issue a public statement that Islam is a religion of peace.

Gawad drew the line, however, at participation in Vatican-sponsored talks with leaders of the great monotheistic religions. He said that representatives of Al Azhar would not participate in any conference involving Israeli Jews.

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Show 5 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: Pete - Jun. 12, 2013 7:27 PM ET USA

    If the Islamic leaders really want Islam to be known as a "religion of peace", then they need to stop preaching and teaching violence and prove it is a "religion of peace". Until they begin to decry the violence and stop the terrorism they only prove Islam is NOT a religion of peace. The persecution of Christians, Jews, and others stands openly against what their leaders supposedly want us to believe.

  • Posted by: wsw33410 - Jun. 11, 2013 8:34 PM ET USA

    Mr. Mahmound Abdel Gawad - give us one reason to do so!

  • Posted by: jacquebquique5708 - Jun. 11, 2013 7:44 PM ET USA

    That is where the argument lies.

  • Posted by: lauriem5377 - Jun. 11, 2013 7:09 PM ET USA

    Why would it be up to the Holy Father to declare Islam a relidion of peace? It would seem that is up to the leaders of Islam to do.

  • Posted by: rpp - Jun. 11, 2013 7:06 PM ET USA

    So non-Catholics are telling Catholics what the Pope should do? They want him to make a statement that contrary both the reality and Islamic teaching? President Osama wants the Pope to endorse abortion, does that mean the Holy Father should do that as well?

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