By Ian Fisher A group of 138 Muslim scholars urged Pope Benedict XVI and other Christian leaders to engage in a deep dialogue for peace between the faiths. Muslims and Christians together make up well over half of the world’s population, the 29-page letter read. Without peace and justice between these two religious communities, there can be no meaningful peace in the world. There was no immediate reaction from Benedict, criticized for a speech he gave last year that Muslims said equated their religion with violence. He has since called repeatedly for a similar dialogue between Christians and Muslims.
By Ian Fisher REZZO, Italy – The immediate issue is how one woman in one tiny town in northern Italy dresses, so it made a certain kind of sense for Giorgio Armani to weigh in. His opinion? A woman should wear what she likes, even if what she likes is a veil that hides her face completely. “It’s a question of respect for the convictions and culture of others,” Mr. Armani, the fashion designer, said in a statement released late last month. “We need to live with these ideas.” He was speaking out in defense of Sabrina Varroni, a Muslim woman from this town near the Swiss border who has been fined 80 euros, about $100, for appearing twice in public wearing a veil that completely covered her face. Her punishment has won cheers from some Italians and has horrified others.