Catholic-Muslim Statement on Globalization

Conclusions of Meeting See Benefits, Dangers

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VATICAN CITY, JULY 15, 2001 ( A joint Catholic-Muslim statement from a conference earlier this month agreed on the benefits of globalization but also warned of its dangers.

The seventh Meeting of the Muslim-Catholic Linkage Commission, held in Rome from July 3-4, published a joint statement on Friday. The topic of the meeting was «Religion and the Dialogue of Civilizations in the Era of Globalization.»

The commission acknowledged «the importance of globalization and its benefits, while calling attention to its dangers, which create obstacles to the realization of a commonly shared, just world order, the acceptance of just criteria whose objective is the well-being of all, respect for the religious and cultural values of human societies.»

The document reaffirms that «with their material and technological dimension, civilizations are a common human patrimony; consequently, their positive elements should be preserved and their benefits placed at the disposition of all; developed and promoted in the interest of the safety and well-being of the whole of humanity.»

The meeting´s Catholic delegation was headed by Cardinal Francis Arinze, president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue. The Muslim delegation was led by Dr. Kamel al-Sharif, secretary-general of the Da´wah and Relief International Islamic Council.

Both delegations agreed that religious values are fundamental to preserve human dignity, peaceful coexistence and the environment. They also noted the importance of dialogue between civilizations for a common commitment in favor of peace and the protection of humanity from disasters, poverty, ignorance, moral degradation, family disintegration, wars, and the effects of weapons of mass destruction.

The groups also rejected the thesis that the clash of civilizations and social conflict is inevitable.

Commission members agreed to work together for a culture of dialogue, to resist consumerism, protect human dignity and rights, prevent aggression, oppression and injustice; to guarantee the right of refugees to return to their native countries; and to reject all forms of discrimination.

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