Pope Francis said these words a few days ago, which he also explained the Catholic Church will “intensify the dialogue between the different religions, first and foremost with Islam” giving new momentum to the relations between the Catholic and the Muslim worlds.
Representatives of the Arab-Muslim world have accepted the invitation with great appreciation, including the Grand Imam dell’Azhar, Ahmed el-Tayyeb, who leads Sunni Islam. The Grand Imam dell’Azhar calls for “a world full of love and cooperation to ensure common values and to end the culture of hatred and inequality.” Imam Yahya Pallavicini, vice president of COREIS (Italian Religious Communities) also agrees, who was among 138 international Muslim scholars who signed “A Common Word Between You and Us,” addressed to Christian religious communities. Imam Pallavicini points out in no uncertain terms that, today more than ever; it is important to promote an interreligious dialogue for a world united in peace.
Friday, March 15, 2013
This is the message addressed to Pope Francis sent by COREIS Italian an organization which represents Italian Muslims
As Muslims, we wish to express to all Catholic Christians, our brothers in the faith of One God, our most heartfelt congratulations for the renewal of a leadership role for the Catholic Church. We are aware of the vital importance of continuity in the expression of authority which is vital to every spiritual community of believers, especially in times of transition. We welcome the call to brotherhood expressed in the first words of the newly elected Pope Francis, in the hope that it will realize an authentic spiritual harmony among followers of different religious communities. We hope that the new pontificate is a true sign of real universal openness and recognition for all orthodoxies which base their faith in the One God.
As Muslims we hope that the selection of name of the new Pope remembers Francis of Assisi’s great example of holiness and openness to the East and Islam. We also remember another great saint, St. Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuit order, who reminds us that a sense of longing for the knowledge of God is at the heart of all true spirituality. In this moment of historic transition we believe that the fate of humanity are intimately linked to the ability to continue to develop dimensions of faith, knowledge and holiness, which are embodied by men belonging the various religions.
COREIS has always recognized the work to preserve the testimony of God in the West and will continue a dialogue with the Catholic Church and Christianity. COREIS remembers the historic meeting in Assisi in 1986, in which the founder of COREIS, Shaykh ‘Abd al-Wahid Pallavicini, was welcomed by the Blessed John Paul II. Other milestones include meetings between the vice president Imam Yahya Pallavicini and Pope Benedict XVI at Castel Gandolfo in 2006. We renew our best wishes for the beginning of the new pontificate, confident that cooperation will be vital for a new intellectual orientation; we support a spiritual man in his contribution to the world.
Yahya Pallavicini, imam of the mosque al-Wahid in Milan, vice-president of the Italian Islamic Religious Community and founder of the International Committee of Imams, and Rabbis and Christians for Peace UNESCO in Paris, has decided to publish his last book “The Merciful. Allah and his Prophets” with a major catholic publishing house in Italy, Edizioni Messaggero.
It is a strong choice in a country that fights the veil and mosques. In Veneto, worshipping space is denied to Muslims and non-catholic religious symbols aren’t accepted. Pallavicini believes that courage is necessary to enhance dialogue, the only way to overcome isolation, prejudices and contrasts.
Spreading knowledge about Allah’s prophets (the same for Muslims, Jewish and Catholics), discusses how to foster integration while avoiding suspicion, fear and ignorance about different traditions. The book tries to facilitate the encounter of two worlds. Following what San Francesco once said regarding the Crusades: “We don’t have to go against anybody, rather we have to go among everybody”, the book seeks to meet the Others upon ideas of mercy and dialogue.
According to Yahya Pallavicini, vice-president of the Italian Islamic religious community, Italian president Giorgio Napolitano is right to inaugurate the Turin book fair, which is celebrating Israel’s right to exit. “I express my complete solidarity with Italy’s president of the republic, Giorgio Napolitano, on behalf of COREIS, and also with the Turin book fair’s director, Ernesto Ferrero,” said Pallavicini. The book fair was planned to mark the 60th anniversary of the Jewish state, as guests participated in Italy’s most prestigious book fair. However, Tariq Ramadan criticized the move, saying that it politicized the event, instead of maintaining a strictly cultural celebration.