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REISU-L-ULEMA IN VATICAN
REISU-L-ULEMA IN VATICAN
Published: November 4, 2008, at 13:11:04
Within the world-wide initiative “A Common Word Between You and Us”, started by Muslim leaders in response to the speech delivered by Pope Benedict XVI on September 13, 2006, at the Regensburg University, the first seminar of the Catholic-Muslim forum was held in Rome today. Similar seminars were held at the Yale University (July 28-31, 2008) and the Cambridge University (October 12-15, 2008).
It is of particular importance in this meting between 24 Muslim and 24 Catholic theologians-intellectuals, in that this is the first time that Catholics and Muslims will exchange opinions about joint themes, such as love toward God and love toward neighbour.
The Muslim delegation, comprising prominent Muslims such as Prof. Seyyid Husein Nasr, Dr. Abdul Hakim Murad Winter, Prof. Tariq Ramadan and others, is led, in this historical dialogue between Catholics and Muslims, by Reisu-l-Ulema Dr. Mustafa Ceric. The Catholic delegation is led by His Eminence, Jean-Louis Cardinal Taurani, President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, who in his opening address stressed:” The interreligious dialogues has no alternatives therefore it is a duty of each sensible and responsible person to promote the spirit of dialogue, especially the interreligious one”.
In his response to the greetings by Cardinal Taurani, Reisu-l-Ulema Ceric, on behalf of the Muslim delegation, said:”
Your Eminence, Jean-Louis Cardinal Taurani,
Thank you for your words of welcome. I feel privileged that, at the opening of the first Catholic-Muslim forum here, in Vatican, I can thank you for your invitation and for bestowing the honour of responding on behalf of Muslims with the greeting of peace and good will. It is the command of the last God’s announcement to Muslims, in the Holy Qur’an: - If they greet you with the greeting of good will, respond to them with your best. (Qur’an, 486).
we came to Rome to express to you the good will of Muslims for peace and justice in the world. We came because of the open and constructive dialogue along the principle of “A Common Word Between You and Us”, and that is love toward God in-the-Highest and love toward neighbour - human being, as all human beings are our neighbours. As he, who loves God in-the-Highest, sees in others beings whom God wanted to exist and therefore he must love them. He, who truly loves his neighbour, is aware of himself. Since, if we are honest and act honestly in our everyday relationship with our neighbours, can affirm that we belong to the humanity - humanity being our collective wealth. Our soul is created to share life with others as we have been created from earth and we all return to earth.
We share a lot - we share the belief in One God, who created us of one soul (matter), and then sowed us as seeds in countless human beings; we share the same father Adem (Adam) and the same mother Hava (Eva); we share the air we breathe and the rising of the sun we see every day; we share the tradition of Ibrahim (Abraham) and the Nuh’s (Noah’s) Ark; we share love and respect toward the blessed Merjema (Mary) and her son Isaa, a.s. (Jesus); we share the truth of the sayings of Musaa a.s. (Moses) and his people; we share the happiness of our successes and the sorrows of our failures; we share the same fear and the same hope for peace and justice in the world.
We believe that our times are the times of the ethics of togetherness, which ought to save us, forever, from the death camps, from fascism, anti-Semitism, Holocaust, Islam phobia, ethnic cleansing and genocide. Instead, we want to strive for a happy life of every human being, for freedom of every individual, for equality of all peoples and nations, for democratic values and overall progress of humanity. As Muslims, we are to understand the clear word of God - Qur’an and to follow the good example of Muhammed a.s., the last messenger of Allah’s, and that is to live and broaden common life and tolerance always and everywhere.
This is a proper place for us to state to our neighbours, Christians, all over the world, that Islam is the religion of peace and that Muslims are peace-loving people. It ought to be clear to everybody that prejudice about the Holy Qur’an, as well as inappropriate speeches about Allah’s messengers, from Adem, to Nuh, Ibrahim, Musaa, Isaa and Muhammed a.s., are not going to solve the problems of drugs, AIDS, abortions, poverty, sexual exploitation, environmental pollution, hate-crimes, murder, suicide and terrorism in the world. Solutions for those and other evils of today we must search for in love for God in-the-Highest and love toward human being, neighbour.
I am certain that the world is observing our meeting of good will and awaits to see what transpires from this first seminar of the Catholic-Muslim forum in Vatican, which forum is of historic importance in many aspects.
I wish that we will send the message of peace and hope for the whole world with the prayer to God in-the-Highest that world be a better and safer place to live in.
In the end, I invite you to join in this Bosnian prayer:
In the name of God the Merciful
We pray to You, oh Lord Almighty,
That sorrow become hope!
That revenge be justice!
That mother’s tear
That Srebrenica never ever happens again to anybody!
The first seminar of the Catholic-Muslim forum continues tomorrow. It is expected that the Forum will have an audience with Pope Benedict XVI on Thursday.