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Aboul-Fotouh: Interfaith Dialogue Should Handle Moral, Humanitarian Issues, not Creed Issues
Aboul-Fotouh: Interfaith Dialogue Should Handle Moral, Humanitarian Issues, not Creed Issues
The Vatican latest call for holding a dialogue with Muslims without avoiding some main issues in which religions differ, raised many reactions among Muslims.
Thursday, November 22,2007 18:42
The Vatican latest call for holding a dialogue with Muslims without avoiding some main issues in which religions differ, raised many reactions among Muslims. Jean-Louis Tauran the Roman Catholic cardinal in charge of relations with the Islamic world and head of the pontifical council for inter-religious dialogue, issued statements in which he said that Muslims do not accept to deeply discuss the Quran, adding that with this hard interpretation, it"s difficult to discuss the content of religion.
In response to the statements of Jean-Louis Tauran, Gamal Qotb, the ex-chairman of the fatwa committee, said that:" The Interfaith dialogue should be limited to general policies related to the cooperation of human beings in international peace and security. As for beliefs, they are confined to believers. He welcomed holding a dialogue with the Vatican if it accepts these regulations and if it doesn"t depreciate beliefs of Islam and Muslims .
Al-Azhar declared also that such a form of dialogue between Vatican and Islam as demanded by Tauran is impossible thing.
Regarding the Muslim Brotherhood"s (MB) attitude towards holding such a dialogue, Ikhwanweb spoke with Dr. Abdel Moneim Abul Fotouh, a member of the MB Executive Office.
Dr. Abdel Moneim Abul Fotouh" We seek a dialogue with any party. But unfortunately, such a call which was sent by 138 clerics representing most Islamic sects- for holding a dialogue with the Vatican - will not lead to any tangible results ."
Aboul-Fotouh pointed out that:" Bases for any dialogue, with the Vatican or any other party, should be first laid down. This didn"t happen before sending the call for holding a dialogue. Therefore, such dialogues always end without no tangible results."
Aboul-Fotouh spoke about the Muslim Brotherhood"s attitude towards the issue of holding a dialogue with any authority or country. He said the MB is ready to hold a dialogue with any party on condition that there are bases which are approved by both sides so that such a dialogue succeeds, specially in the case of the religious dialogue, confirming that the basis that all parties must recognize the three heavenly religions is a very important basis.
"We as Muslims recognize the three divine religions while there are some parties with which an interfaith dialogue may be held do not recognize Islam. Thus, it is useless to hold a dialogue with them in this case."
As for the second basis mentioned by Dr. Abd Al-Monei, it is that the dialogue should not discuss creed issues. He added that the latest call of the Muslim clerics to the Vatican was not also for discussing such constant issues.
"We talk about humanitarian and moral issues which can be considered a basis for treatment. As for creed issues related to any heavenly religion, they need no dialogue because they are constants and there will be no space of cooperation among us in such issues."
"The target of any dialogue is that it spawns something after the dialogue. We should create common areas for cooperation between us" added Dr. Moneim, pointing that this is the most important basis of any dialogue.
Aboul-Fotouh pointed out that:" The common areas between us and which need a lot of cooperation are moral and humanitarian issues. All those believing in Allah and embrace heavenly religions respect common values like freedom, justice, the right to live and equality."
He questioned the attitude of the Christian and Islamic religious institutions towards what is happening against human beings in Africa, Palestine and Iraq."
"We should take from such dialogues a kind of joint cooperation to reject killing and starvation against human beings and to reject spending all these sums of moneys on equipping armies to kill more civilians everywhere."
The MB leader commented on what cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran said in the French Catholic Lacra newspaper claiming that it is crystal clear that Muslims can build mosques in Europe, while many Islamic states impose tight restrictions on building churches. Dr. Abd Al-Moneim said:
"This man is fully inaccurate in his claims. Realistically speaking, the one should consider the huge number of churches in Egypt, Pakistan and Turkey and others. On the other hand, see the number of mosques in all European capitals. In Rome itself, there is only one mosque for Muslims and it was licensed after 20 years of attempts. This man lives even in a place where mosques are banned. "
"There should be no comparison between how Muslims are treated in Europe and how Copts are treated in Arab countries. The Copts are allowed to build their churches in the way they want. This can be proved through the status of churches in Egypt."
Regarding the Muslim Brotherhood"s attitude towards the Copts in Egypt, Abdel Moneim Abul Fotouh said:" There is a close and good relation and cooperation with our Coptic brothers in Egypt."
"We have a strong friendly relation and continuous contacts Between us with Copts of Egypt. We are partners in this homeland. Consequently, the national duty makes us continuously contact with each other and cooperate for the public interest."
Aboul-Fotouh added, at the end of his comment on the Vatican"s reaction to Muslims" call for holding a dialogue with them, confirming that the Muslim Brotherhood endorses holding dialogues with any of the other religious parties, but on condition that the dialogue is based on the three bases abovementioned by Dr. Abd Al-Moneim.
He conditioned also that the parties holding the dialogue should create a common space for the dialogue among them, not for  an intellectual or theoretical showoff but for a mutual cooperation for the good of humanity. " The eventual target of holding such a dialogue is cooperation and closeness. However, a  dialogue discussing creed issues will lead to disagreement, not cooperation and it will be useless.

Posted in MB News , MB and West , Other Opinions , Islamic Issues  
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