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Christian, Muslim leaders offer no new remedies against extremists

ICC Note

An interfaith dialogue between Muslim and Christian leaders is a welcome development. But such meetings should address and deal with how Islamic extremism is causing the persecution of Christians in Muslim-dominated countries of the world.

08/01/2008 Islam (AFP) — A conference of Muslim and Christian leaders aimed at promoting interfaith dialogue ended here sidestepping the thorny issue of religious fundamentalism.

Some 150 religious leaders and academics gathered for the event — mainly protestant theologians and evangelical leaders on the Christian side, and Shiites, Sunnis and Sufis on the Muslim side. Six Jewish guests were present as observers.

The final declaration, approved by consensus, states that Muslims and Christians “affirm the unity and absoluteness of God.

Yale theology professor Miroslav Volf said that the ‘absoluteness of God’ should not be understood as that of an all-powerful divinity, but rather as that of a being that irradiates love.

“It is not just the love of God, but love of neighbor also,” Volf, the event organizer, told AFP.

The final text of the meeting avoids mentioning Christian or Muslim fundamentalist ideologies, though the final declaration does “denounce and deplore threats made against those who engage in interfaith dialogue.”

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