Pope urges Muslims to fight intolerance

August 21, 2005

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COLOGNE (Germany), Aug 20: Pope Benedict XVI called on Muslim leaders on Saturday to fight the rancour and intolerance which he said was at the root of the terrorist violence seeking to poison ties between Christians and Muslims.

“If together we can succeed in eliminating from hearts any trace of rancour, in resisting every form of intolerance and in opposing every manifestation of violence, we will turn back the wave of cruel fanaticism,” hindering world peace, he said on the third day of his visit here.

Meeting with an Islamic delegation on the margins of the World Youth Day festival, the pontiff urged them to defend religious freedom and said dialogue between Christians and Muslims was a “vital necessity” on “which our future depends”.

“Inter-religious and inter-cultural dialogue between Christians and Muslims cannot be reduced to an optional extra,” said the pontiff.—AFP