Muslim Scholars Visit Vatican

A group of Muslim scholars, including a lecturer from Cambridge University, is to begin a three-day visit to the Vatican to discuss better understanding between Christianity and Islam.

A total of 24 signatories of A Common Word Between Us and You, a letter published last year by Islamic scholars, intellectuals and clerics, will assemble in Rome for the talks.

Those attending include Dr Anas Al-Shaikh-Ali, chairman of the UK Association of Muslim Social Scientists and Sheikh Dr Abdal Hakim Murad Winter, lecturer in Islamic studies at Cambridge.

The meeting follows a conference in Cambridge last month addressed by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams.

Participants in the Rome event will meet Pope Benedict XVI and other senior figures in the Roman Catholic Church.

The meeting comes after the Pope said he was “deeply sorry” in 2006 about the angry reaction in the Islamic world after he quoted a Medieval text in Regensburg, Germany, attacking some of the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad, Islam’s founder.

The Pope said the text he quoted did not reflect his personal opinion.

A Common Word Between Us and You, signed by 138 Islamic scholars, clerics and intellectuals, warned that the survival of the world could be at stake if Muslims and Christians did not make peace with each other.

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