King meets Muslim, Catholic clerics

Amman, Nov 22 (Petra) — His Majesty King Abdullah II said on Tuesday Jordan is pressing with reforms to offer a regional democratic role model that promotes moderation and openness.

Speaking to 48 Muslim intellectuals and Christian clerics attending an Islamic-Catholic forum sponsored by the Royal Aal al-Bayt Institute for Islamic Thought, the King referred to the importance of Jerusalem as a regional centre for religious coexistence “in the view of present and future generations.” “The forum is the culmination of ongoing initiatives to promote Islamic-Christian concepts and shared values, which we underlined in the Amman Message and the Common Word initiatives,” said the King, describing Christianity’s existence in the region as historic and a fundamental component in the human diversity Jordan is keen to protect.

During the meeting, attended by His Royal Highness Prince Ghazi Ben Mohammad, the King’s religious and cultural adviser and Aal al-Bayt institute Board of Trustees chairman, King Abdullah told participants in the forum to take their coexistence and common inter-faith values and thoughts to their respective communities.

Religious figures taking part in the gathering commended Jordan’s efforts at coexistence and to bring religions closer and build bridges among adherents of the different faiths.

Egypt’s Grand Mufti Sheikh Ali Juma’a said the forum came to translate the King’s 2007 Common Word initiative, drawn from a verse in the holy Quran, that dispelled many of the misconceptions between Islam and the Christian West through a dozen meetings between religious scholars from both sides.

“Such meetings would build sound relations and correct images and remove the distortion that has become a trade in today’s world,” he said, highlighting Jordan’s cross-faith dialogue initiatives, namely the Amman Message, which, he said, had left an impact on coexistence, social security and peace promoted by Islam.

The Second Islamic-Catholic Forum, held under the theme “reason, faith and mankind”, kicked off three days of deliberations on Monday at the Jordan Valley Baptism Site.

//Petra//SS 22/11/2011 – 05:35:54 PM