London, 17 September (ENI)--Pope Benedict XVI, on a visit to Britain, has reached out to leaders of other faiths, saying the Roman Catholic Church wants to build bridges of friendship but also insists on the freedom for converts to practise their new religion.
Amy Frykholm posted yesterday about Muhammad Musri, the
Muslim leader who met with Terry Jones and helped defuse last week's
Qur'an-burning situation. If more Christians and Muslims knew one another
personally, the whole furor may not have occurred in the first place.
The crowd-control barriers and TV satellite trucks left after a Florida pastor called off plans to burn 200 Qur'ans, but American Muslims say the political firestorm in Gainesville was more than a momentary flare-up.
The embattled Episcopal bishop of Philadelphia said he erred in not investigating his brother's sexual abuse of an underage girl 35 years ago, but he also brushed aside calls for his resignation, saying it is more "interesting" for him to remain in office.
Mubarak Awad, a Greek Orthodox Catholic influenced by Quakers and Mennonites, could have become the Palestinian Gandhi. After his father was killed by Jewish freedom fighters in 1948, his mother taught her children to turn the other cheek. In 1983 Awad opened the Palestinian Center for the Study of Nonviolence in Jerusalem, with the aim of fomenting mass nonviolent resistance to Israeli occupation. His peaceful efforts got him kicked out of the country in 1988. He now teaches nonviolence at American University. He remains optimistic about the prospects of nonviolent resistance in the Middle East, but fears the current conflict between Israel and Gaza is driving more people into the extremist camp (Newsweek, August 11).