CHICAGO/TORONTO: CPT endorses Muslim statement, “A Common Word Between Us and You.”

After Pope Benedict XVI made denigrating and incorrect remarks about
Islam in September 2006, thirty-eight prominent Muslim clerics scholars
and intellectuals released an “Open Letter to the Pope,” in which they
corrected his misconceptions about Islam. Toward the end of the letter,
the signers noted, “Christianity and Islam are the largest and second
largest religions in the world and in history. Christians and Muslims
reportedly make up over a third and over a fifth of humanity
respectively. Together they make up more than 55%of the world’s
population, making the relationship between these two religious
communities the most important factor in contributing to meaningful
peace around the world.”

A year later, 138 clerics, scholars, and intellectuals from different
denominations and schools of thought in Islam expanded on that letter,
calling for understanding between Muslims and Christians, and
emphasizing common ground between the two faiths. The result is A
Common Word Between Us and You. “The basis for this peace and
understanding already exists,” the statement notes, “It is part of the
very foundational principles of both faiths: love of the One God, and
love of the neighbour. These principles are found over and over again
in the sacred texts of Islam and Christianity. The Unity of God, the
necessity of love for Him, and the necessity of love of the neighbour
is thus the common ground between Islam and Christianity.”

Christian/Muslim dialogue is an important part of CPT work in the
Middle East. CPT already is on the cutting edge of Muslim/Christian
dialogue through our contacts with Muslims, both in Iraq and Palestine.
These relationships occur daily in informal, spontaneous visits, and
more formally in meetings with Muslim leaders. Also of great importance
is our standing together with Muslims as we face the guns and other
forms of oppression and our relationships with Muslims back in our home

One exceptionally important relationship between CPT and the Muslim
world came as a result of the kidnapping in 2005 of two CPTers and two
members of a CPT delegation in Iraq, when many important Muslim leaders
and groups around the world publicly spoke in support of CPT. We
continue to owe a debt of gratitude to the Muslim world for their love
and support during that difficult time.

The quality of “A Common Word,” both in its depth and in its
sensitivity to Christian concerns is remarkable and should be
supported. CPT has now endorsed this statement. We encourage Christians
and their worshipping communities to support this call for Christians
and Muslims to come together on the simple basis of affirming that we
worship one God, and that we love our neighbors. The statement can be
found at