Friday, September 22, 2006

Pope to Meet with Muslim Leaders

From Vatican Information Services:

At midday today, the Holy See Press Office made it known that in Castelgandolfo at 11.45 a.m. on Monday, September 25, the Holy Father will receive Cardinal Paul Poupard, president of the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue, and certain representatives of Muslim communities in Italy. Ambassadors to the Holy See from countries with Muslim majorities have also been invited to the meeting.


  1. Hmmm, interesting.
    May there be true progress made for worldwide interfaith peace.

  2. Almost sounds like a suggestion made by John L Esposito, University Professor & Founding Director Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding, until you read the rest of hiscommentary for Turkish daily news outlet Zaman Online where he quibbles over the Pope's sura citations, proposing we "must now get back on track, building on the significant accomplishments in interreligious dialogue in recent decades"
    leaving the reader hanging out to dry, unwilling or unable to name anything approaching reciprocal treatment in the 'dialog.' Perhaps the-powers-that-be at Georgetown need to read the The Failure of Western Universities from the desk of Fjordman posted at the BrusselsJournal blog last month, prior to the Pope's trip to Germany, here an excerpt:
    "In Denmark, linguist Tina Magaard concludes that Islamic texts encourage terror and fighting to a far greater degree than the original texts of other religions. She has a PhD in Textual Analysis and Intercultural Communication from the Sorbonne in Paris, and has spent three years on a research project comparing the original texts of ten religions. “The texts in Islam distinguish themselves from the texts of other religions by encouraging violence and aggression against people with other religious beliefs to a larger degree. There are also straightforward calls for terror. This has long been a taboo in the research into Islam, but it is a fact we need to deal with.”"

    Is Georgetown to betray its glorious Jesuit tradition of intellectual curiosity and become known instead as the respecter of taboos? Particularly those of the Saudi Royal Family?

    Hopefully the Pope's meeting of minds will shine some light on the variety of interpretations within the Islamic tradition, and open a crack for "moderates" to apply reasoned debate to the dearth of hospitality offered to non-muslims and the threat of violence percolating through in the more modern nation states (Turkey, Egypt, Pakistan, Indonesia).


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