Islam's Teachings Prohibit Terrorism, Says Imam

Media Campaign Begins in Rome

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ROME, SEPT. 22, 2005 ( The imam of Rome’s Grand Mosque condemned terrorism in the name of Islam, stating that «Islam is the religion of mutual knowledge and peace,» not of «mutual hostility and clash.»

Sheik Mahmud Hammad Sheweita made this statement at a press conference in Rome’s Foreign Press Room, to present the Media Campaign Against World Suicide Terrorism, led by Jack Shepard, founder of the People for Peace Group.

The imam reminded his audience that suicide and murder are illicit.

«It is very clear that the killing of innocent people and of peaceful people have been declared illicit by Allah,» he said Wednesday.

Also present at the press conference was Abdella Redouane, secretary-general of the Islamic Cultural Center of Italy who, when asked about Benedict XVI, said: «It is a privilege for us to be in Rome so close to the Vatican. Our relations are very good. We were at the Pope’s funeral and we have already met in private with Benedict XVI, who, although he is different from John Paul II, follows a line of continuity in relation to Muslims.»

Moreover, Redouane was pleased that Benedict XVI wanted to meet with Muslims in Cologne, Germany, and said that he hoped that, after her audience with the Pope, journalist Oriana Fallaci will be «less venomous against Muslims, and also against the Vatican.»

For his part, Jack Shepard, promoter of the campaign against suicide terrorism, recalled that Rome is a place of meeting and dialogue between religions. «If all the world were like Rome,» he said, «we would not be talking about such topics.»

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