Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Monday, November 13, 2006

Religious tolerance movement gains momentum worldwide

A panel of prominent scholars, politicians and religious leaders convened in Istanbul on Sunday to take part in the UN-backed “Alliance of Civilizations” initiative, which is co-sponsored by the prime ministers of Spain and Turkey. The group, whose membership includes former Iranian president Mohammad Khatami and South African Nobel Peace Prize winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu, is expected to present its findings and proposals to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan at a ceremony on Monday.

In line with the movement to promote cross-cultural and inter-faith understanding, Algerian scholar Mustapha Sharif met with Pope Benedict XVI on Saturday to discuss ways in which a dialogue between the faiths can be encouraged. Later this month, the Pope plans a four-day visit to Turkey, the first Muslim country he visits on official capacity. In his meeting with the Pope, Sharif proposed an international Islamo-Christian conference aimed at eradicating racial and religious hatred. The Associated Press reported that Sharif said the Pope “considers Islam as a great religion” and that “we must witness together the religious dimensions of existence.”

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