By OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT
Oct. 12: The Grand Mufti of Egypt, Sheikh Ali Gomaa, and the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, will address Muslim and Christian religious scholars and leaders from around the world at Cambridge University on Sunday evening to promote understanding between the two faiths.
The three-day conference, A Common Word And Future Muslim-Christian Engagement, is the second in a series of meetings prompted by the release of a letter, from 138 Islamic scholars, clerics and intellectuals in October 2007, which aimed to build bridges between the two religions after increase in suspicion and distrust caused by terror-related incidents since September 11 attacks. The letter was titled A Common Word Between Us And You.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, after extensive consultation with scholars and leaders from many churches, sent a substantial letter in response, A Common Word for the Common Good, in July 2008.
The Cambridge conference will, in the light of these two letters, examine a programme of practical steps that the two religious faiths can take to ensure that they deepen mutual understanding, action and friendship.
“The Common Word letters are probably the most important step forward in Muslim-Christian relations in 50 years,” Prof. David F. Ford, director of the Cambridge Inter-Faith Programme, said.