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Vatican-Islamic panel condemns exploitation of religion for political ends

March 02, 2010

The annual meeting of a Vatican-Islamic dialogue commission concluded with a joint statement denouncing the use of religion as a pretext for political violence.

The joint commission formed by Vatican officials and representatives of Egypt's Al Azhar University, meeting in Cairo in February, ended its 2-day session with a joint resolution "to pay greater attention to the fact that the manipulation of religion for political or other ends can be a source of violence; to avoid discrimination on the basis of religious identity; to open hearts to mutual forgiveness and reconciliation, which is a necessary condition for peaceful and fruitful coexistence." The statement was signed by Sheikh Muhammad Abd al-Aziz Wasil of Al Azhar and Cardinal Jean Louis Tauran, the president of the Pontifical Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue.

During his visit to Cairo, Cardinal Tauran made a point of thanking Muhammad Sayyed Tantawi, the grand imam of Al Azhar, for his statement condemning the murder of Coptic Christians in Egypt by Muslim zealots.


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