Mideast Seen as Key to World Peace

Cardinal Etchegaray Addresses Muslim-Christian Meeting

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ROME, OCT. 4, 2001 (Zenit.org).- Jerusalem is the test of an authentic and lasting peace, not only for the Mideast but for the entire world, Cardinal Roger Etchegaray told a meeting on Muslim-Christian dialogue.

«All Abraham´s children must prove that they are able to live together in peace within their own walls, and to open to all human caravans,» the former president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace told the meeting Wednesday.

The meeting was organized by the Community of Sant´Egidio. It attracted leading representatives of the Muslim and Christian world for a two-day meeting on ways to build a culture of peace, in response to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The meeting ended today.

Warith Deen, imam of the U.S. Muslim community, said the «terrorist attack is outside the boundaries of the Koran, our holy book. Our humanity hates these actions because Islam begins with innocent life. Those who commit these acts are the worst of men.»

Yusuf Al Qaradawi´s address was more provocative. The theologian and director of the Sunna research center of Qatar said, «We reject fighting terrorism with more terrorism, inspired by the same logic that attributes to the innocent the fault of those who are really responsible.»

Leading Italian politicians, including former President Oscar Luigi Scalfaro, attended the meeting. Scalfaro headed the team that wrote a joint document.

The politicians agreed that one of the keys to the present crisis is the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Italian President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi said that the eradication of Muslim terrorism «will not be achieved until there is peace in the Middle East.»

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