Vatican urges dialogue with Muslims
Inter-religious council leader appeals to Muslims to help end "spiral of conflict".
Last Modified: 28 Sep 2007 18:55 GMT
Tauran's address urged Islamic leaders to work towards 'peace and solidarity' [GALLO/GETTY]
The Vatican has called on Muslims to reject violence and work with Christians for peace.
In a message on Friday prior to the end of the holy month of Ramadan, Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, head of the Vatican's Inter-religious Dialogue council, also appealed to Islamic leaders to educate their young in a way that "honours all human creatures."
The address comes after a speech last year by Pope Benedict XVI that linked Islam to violence, which was widely opposed by Muslims.
Benedict later said he regretted that Muslims were offended by his remarks.
Tauran urged Muslims to hold dialogue with Christians to "help us to escape from the endless spiral of conflict and multiple tensions which mark our societies.""In the troubled times we are passing through, religious believers have... a duty above all to work in favour of peace." Tauran said.
Call for moderation

"A culture of peace and solidarity between men can be built... doing everything one can to reject, denounce and refuse every recourse to violence which can never be motivated by religion, since it wounds the very image of God in man," Tauren wrote in his Friday address.
"Dialogue is the tool which can help us to escape from the endless spiral of conflict and multiple tensions which mark our societies, so that all peoples can live in serenity and peace and with mutual respect and harmony."

A speech by Pope Benedict last year badly
damaged relations with Muslims [EPA]

Tauran, who was the Vatican's foreign affairs chief from 1990 to 2003, also pledged to support moderates within Islam and help end violence.
"We know that violence, especially terrorism which strikes blindly and claims countless innocent victims, is incapable of resolving conflicts and leads only to a deadly chain of destructive hatred, to the detriment of mankind and societies," Tauran wrote.
The prelate also appealed to Muslims to teach their young to love and respect all people and not become "cultural or religious blocs opposed to one another."
"Thus all forces can be mobilised in the service of mankind and humanity so that the younger generations do not become cultural or religious blocs opposed to one another, but genuine brothers and sisters in humanity," he said.
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