Since I’m allegedly a pro-terrorist blogger, I suppose I should be the one to post about this here on Plunderbund. An open letter to Christians has been issued by a diverse collection of Muslims.

Scores of Muslim clerics, theologians and academics issued an open letter yesterday to all Christian leaders saying the two religions need to work more closely together, given that they share the basic principles of worshiping one God and loving thy neighbor.

In sweeping terms, the letter notes that 55 percent of the world’s population is either Christian or Muslim, “making the relationship between these two religious communities the most important factor in contributing to meaningful peace around the world.”

Probably the hardest factor to solve, too, given the widespread misconceptions about each other. If this can be accomplished, maybe respect for people of all faiths might be possible. I know; pipe dream.

The letter quotes the Koran and the Bible, particularly the New Testament, to illustrate how their basic principles mirror each other. It says the Prophet Muhammad’s stance was perhaps inspired by the Bible.

The letter notes that there are differences between the religions and that Islam teaches its faithful to resist those who attack them, but it concludes that the world’s two largest faiths should compete only “in righteousness and good works.”

Among the 138 signatories were senior theologians from around the world, including Sheik Ali Gomaa, the grand mufti of Egypt and hence the top Sunni Muslim figure there, as well as about a dozen other grand muftis. Ayatollah Mostafa Mohaghegh Damad, a Shiite Muslim from Iran, also signed.

No luck getting Saudi Arabian Wahhabi scholars to sign on, unsurprisingly.

Some analysts see the letter as being addressed as much to Muslims as Christians, although the chances of it influencing radicals is considered slim. Radicals often interpret “love thy neighbor” as help thy neighbor find Islam, said Prof. Muqtedar Khan, director of Islamic Studies at the University of Delaware.

In addition, politics, not theology, shape anti-Western attitudes among Muslims, Professor Khan said. “They have a problem with the occupation of Iraq, with the Israeli treatment of the Palestinians; it’s not about Christianity.”

Ooo, this contradicts right-wing dogma here in the states. Despite the fact that you’ve frequently denounced terrorism, Khan, this statement combined with your essay explaining why Hamas getting involved in the political process may actually be a good thing is sure to get you labeled as an Islamofascist. Sorry.

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