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Muslim leaders address Synod

October 14, 2010

Setting a new precedent at the Vatican, two Muslim leaders addressed the Synod of Bishops on October 14.

Representing the two main strands of Islam, the Sunni scholar Mohammad al Sammak of Lebanon and the Iranian Shi’ite Sayyed Mohaghegh Ahmadabadi spoke in favor of religious freedom, with both Muslim leaders claiming that the Qu’ran affirms the rights of non-Muslims to practice their faith. They also agreed that religious beliefs should not be used as a pretext for political violence.

Tolerance is even more necessary today, when people of different faiths and cultures live together, Ahmadabadi argued. He said that it is important to distinguish between religious conflicts and political rivalries between people of different faiths.


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  • Posted by: Justin8110 - Oct. 14, 2010 10:17 PM ET USA

    Tolerance today often descends into relativism in a sort of "what's right for you isn't right for me" mentality.We have to be careful here. Islam has traditionally allowed for others to practice their religions but historically it has only been "people of the Book" and they still paid taxes and were treated as second class citizens. A few 21st century scholars representing the moderate to liberal wing of their respective schools isn't going to change history and tradition.

  • Posted by: miasarx - Oct. 14, 2010 7:02 PM ET USA

    The Qur'an affirms the right for non-Muslims to practice their faith as long as they are dhimmis and feel "subdued" and humiliated. How are Christians treated in Egypt? Iraq? Pakistan? Saudi Arabia? Someplaces even in Indonesia? Give me a break.