Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams Thursday welcomed a letter from over 130 Islamic scholars calling for better understanding between Muslims and Christians to defuse tensions in the world.
“There is much here to study and to build on,” the archbishop said in response to the 29-page letter which was also sent to the pope and other Christian leaders.
He said the theological basis of the letter and its call to live in sincere peace, harmony and mutual goodwill “are indicative of the kind of relationship for which we yearn in all parts of the world, and especially where Christians and Muslims live together.”
“It is particularly important in underlining the need for respect towards minorities in contexts where either Islam or Christianity is the majority presence,” the spiritual leader of the Church of England said.
The letter, organized by the Royal Aal al-Bayt Institute for Islamic Thought based in Jordan, warned that the world’s future may depend on peaceful relations between Muslims and Christians.
“Muslims and Christians together make up well over half of the world’s population. Without peace and justice between these two religious communities, there can be no meaningful peace in the world,” it said.
Williams said it was a clear reaffirmation of the potential for further development of existing dialogue and common action between Christians and Muslims and other faith communities.
“The letter’s understanding of the unity of God provides an opportunity for Christians and Muslims to explore together their distinctive understandings and the ways in which these mould and shape our lives,” he said.
“The call to respect, peace and goodwill should now be taken up by Christians and Muslims at all levels and in all countries and I shall endeavour in this country and internationally, to do my part in working for the righteousness which this letter proclaims as our common goal,” he added.