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Landmark Catholic-Muslim summit organised in Rome
In what can only be termed as historic Muslim and Catholic leaders met at Rome to rewrite inter-faith relationship. The occasion provided a platform to diffuse religious tensions and take steps to eradicate religious fundamentalism and extremism.
ADDING A historic chapter in inter-religious relationship, the Italian capital of Rome organised a unique, three day religious summit between the Vatican and the representatives of the Muslim world. The summit aimed at healing wounds in the inter-faith relationship between Christianity and Islam that were caused by Prophet Muhammad cartoon controversy in 2005.

Religious leaders from both the communities believe that for the two religions’ to exist peaceful on the planet a healthy dialogue between the Vatican officials and the Islamic delegation is needed. This interaction aimed at focus on avoiding future misunderstanding between the two great religions.

The Vatican was represented by Cardinal Jean Louis Tauran, while Grand Mufti of Bosnia, Mustafa Ceric led the Muslim delegation. The Roman religious summit is being seen by many in the political and religious world as a PR programme on the part of the Vatican to heal some of the damage caused to the Christian-Islam relationship by some controversial comments made by Pope Benedict XVI’s during a speech in 2006 in which the pontiff related Muslims with violence.

Yet both the Vatican and the Islamic world call it a landmark summit which could rewrite Islamic-Christianity inter-faith relationship. According to Cardinal Tauran, head of the Vatican delegation, the meeting opens ‘a new chapter in the long history’ of the dialogue between the two faiths. The first two days of the high-profile religious summit focused on God’s love and loving one’s neighbour.

The summit may be ceremonial in outlook yet it provided a unique opportunity to both the religious leaderships to diffuse religious tensions in the near future and to take steps to eradicate religious fundamentalism and extremism. Only time would tell whether the Rome summit would go down in history as a benchmark for religious tolerance and amity for future generations to come or not.
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