Imam Hendi on the Pope's Speech:

September 15, 2006


I hope that the impact of the interfaith work built by the late Pope John Paul II does not fade away after the statements made by Pope Benedict XVI in his most recent speech in Germany. The bridges built over the course of the last 40 years between Catholics and Muslims must not be brought down as a result of that speech. Despite my sadness to hear those statements uttered, I still call on both sides to continue to engage in real and lasting dialogue to bring about peace to this world. The success of our fight on religious extremism, terrorism, poverty, sectarianism and the war culture depends on our ability to be sensitive to each others beliefs, respect of each others traditions and our ability to coordinate in the work of socio-economic and political justice.  


The great spread of Islam around the world is attributed, not to the shedding of blood and violence, which is incompatible with the nature of the peaceful God according to Islam. Rather, it can historically be attributed to Islamís very nature of universality, cohesiveness and call for reasoning and strong relationship between rationality, science and faith.


I call on all sides involved to heed to the voice of reasoning, love and commitment to true universal brotherhood and sisterhood. I ask Muslims to engage their Christian neighbors rationally and with love and I ask Christians to reach out to their Muslims fellow citizens with a word of comfort and care. After all, Islam is a religion of Peace and Jesus Christ is the prince of peace.


United we stand and divided we fall and fail.  


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