Prominent Muslim scholars have sent an open letter to Christian leaders across the world in an attempt to help defuse religious-based tensions.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, and Pope Benedict have been sent copies of the document, which calls for greater understanding between the two faiths.
The Royal Aal al-Bayt Institute for Islamic Thought, a non-governmental organisation based in Jordan, has organised the letter, which is signed by 138 Muslim scholars.
The institute said: “This historic letter is intended as an open invitation to Christians to unite with Muslims over the most essential aspects of their respective faiths – the principles of love of one God and love of the neighbour.”
The letter was welcomed by the Bishop of London, Richard Chartres, who called for a meaningful response from the Pope.
He said the Vatican now had a “pivotal role” in forming Christianity’s response to the olive branch.