DOHA, Qatar, JAN. 28, 2011 (Zenit.org).- The Arab League is gathering Christian and Muslim leaders to participate in a meeting in Doha on religious fanaticism and interreligious conflicts regarding Jerusalem.
The Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Archbishop Fouad Twal, who plans to attend the Feb. 2-3 meeting, explained to SIR agency that the initiative “was probably born in the aftermath of the wave of terror and condemnation derived from the massacres of Baghdad and Alexandria of Egypt.”
An Oct. 31 massacre at the Syrian Catholic cathedral in Baghdad, Iraq claimed more than 50 lives, and a Jan. 1 bombing at the Coptic Church of the Saints in Alexandria killed another 21 people.
According to the archbishop, after the massacres in Iraq and Egypt, “a consciousness was awakened on the part of Muslim leaders regarding the danger of radicalism.”
He told Vatican Radio that the positive effect resulting from the attack in Alexandria is that “now there is greater awareness among politicians, Arab leaders, Muslims and Christians, of the fact that blind fanaticism does not benefit anyone.”
The prelate noted that this awareness led to the invitation of interreligious leaders to the meeting Doha, “in which representatives of the Arab League and religious leaders — Muslim and Christian, will participate to discuss Jerusalem and this fanaticism.”
He added, “We hope it will go well.”
Archbishop Twal observed that after the attacks, “I read in several Arab newspapers splendid comments of Muslim intellectuals who warned of the risks of religious fanaticism.”
He also reported that many Muslims, after the attack in Alexandria, went to hospitals to donate blood for wounded Christians.
The archbishop concluded, “Emerging in these tragic events is the sense of humanity of all believers, on which we are called to build, together, coexistence and tolerance.”