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May 18, 2006

Jesuits - On Islam And Catholicism

Topics: Faith

In an article published by the Jesuit publication "Civilta' Cattolica," liaisons between Christians and Muslims are said to best benefit by reciprocity.

Although the article addresses freedom of worship and human rights, and mentions recent clashes in Nigeria and the effect of the Prophet cartoons, more importantly, it's message to Islam is that God's name cannot be used to justify acts of hatred and violence, nor should it be used to muster rivalries among men, cultures or religion:

(...) Christian churches and international organisations have a right and a duty to remind governments which allow and tolerate acts of violence to commit entirely to human rights standards; that includes freedom of worship and mutual respect which, as far as the latter case is concerned, is at the heart of international ties between states. That in essence is a fundamental part of civilisation".

(...) "it is neither up to European states or the US to defend Christian denominations and other religious minorities in Nigeria, Indonesia or elsewhere: it is up to the states which host such minorities to provide such safeguards".

(...) "such provisions are mandate under international law; hence the nations party to Conventions and striving to comply with them are held to such commitments as members of the international community, and hence should fully abide by them".

(...) "it is up to the Church, the countries who best care for human rights and international organisations tasked with upholding fundamental rights to issue firm condemnation of such illegitimate acts of aggression against Christians".

(...) Nigeria's recent track record is clear proof of how Islamic fundamentalists seize on every opportunity to rile the desperate Muslim masses, who in turn vent their anger against the Christians whom they view - regardless of whether they are African or not - as pro-Western and traitors of the national cause.

(...) In the face of such acts of violence "both John Paul II and Benedict XVI have oft repeated that God's name cannot be used to justified acts of hatred and violence, nor should it be used to muster rivalries among men, cultures or religion, it is the Church's task to ensure that the catholic worshippers are not dragged into a senseless fray.

The idea of Muslims and Christians best benefiting by reciprocity was also addressed recently by Pope Benedict XVI, when he called on Islamic countries to safeguard Catholics living there and on both Muslims and Catholics to show 'mutual respect' towards each other:
Addressing a Vatican conference on immigration to and from the Islamic world, Benedict said the Roman Catholic Church was 'committed' to interreligious dialogue.

'We are living at a time in which Christians are called to nurture an open style of dialogue on religious issues,' Benedict said.

At the same time, 'we are increasingly aware of the importance of reciprocity' - a term used to indicate the need for Islamic countries to allow their Christian minorities to build churches and live their faith just as Muslims are allowed to frequent mosques existing in predominantly Christian nations like Italy.

There are many Muslim leaders that will agree with Pope Benedict - however, unfortunately there appears to be many more who have an entirely different agenda - jihadism and a caliphate.

Posted by Richard at May 18, 2006 10:05 PM

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