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Muslim letter to pope also directed to Muslims

A letter written by 138 Muslim intellectuals to Pope Benedict XVI is also indirectly addressed to fellow Muslims, says Ali Ayub

The Open Letter 138 Muslim intellectuals wrote to the Pope and other Christian leaders is indirectly addressed to Muslims because it calls on “Muslims to rethink and to re-educate ourselves about our own Islamic,” said Ali Aiyub in a “reflection” sent to AsiaNews.

Mr Aiyub, who is Muslim, is the director of the Silsilah Dialogue Institute, whose president is Fr Sebastiano D’Ambra, a missionary with the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions (PIME).

“For me as a Muslim,” Aiyub writes, “I consider the Open Letter a milestone in the history of Islam in the contemporary world. I would liken it to Vatican II, a revolution within the Catholic Church’s teachings to respond to the signs of the time. This Open Letter serves as bedrock to drumbeat our local interfaith dialogue as path to peace.”

This document is “a sign of hope and an inspiration to commit myself as a Muslim in the service of dialogue in today’s chaotic world where religion, as has been done since time immemorial, is misused to legitimize selfish motives.”

Indeed the letter “calls believers to rekindle and relive our roots, our respective belief system, as the basis for convergence to face the challenges–conflict in the world in its different manifestations [like the] north and south divides and the destruction of Mother Earth due to a mindset which sees nature as something that has to be conquered and exploited, not anymore for human needs but to satisfy human greed.”

“Unfortunately, in our midst, there are people who, desperately seeking paradise, bring hell into this world, to paraphrase Ziauddin Sardar, a renowned contemporary Muslim scholar.”

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