Muslims are called upon to respect Christians as did Muhammed

The conference organized at the University of al-Azhar to condemn terrorism and extremism of Islamist matrix, was an event of historic importance.

However I am not sure whether or not it was noticed by anyone in western societies," said Coptic Catholic Bishop Anba Antonios Aziz Mina of Guizeh, according to the Fides news service.

The international conference was held at Cairo University – considered the most important centre of Sunni Muslim theology – to reflect on relations between the Muslim world and Islamist tinted extremism. Participants included 700 scholars and representatives of political, social and religious institutions– also leaders of eastern Christian communities - from 120 different countries. The militants of the Caliphate, also known as ISIS, fighting to bring down the governments of Iraq, Lebanon, and Syria are also mostly Sunni Muslims, as are the people of Saudi Arabia. They have persecuted, raped and murdered thousands of non-Sunni Muslims, as well as Christians and other minorities in their effort to establish a region-wide Islamic state.

“This is the first time, - said Bishop Anba Antonios – "that such an influential Islamic institution openly declares that theories used by terrorists and extremists to justify with the Koran violent activity, are a perversion of genuine Islam. Until now Islamic institutions and academies have almost always been timid in condemning such tendencies. Condemnation came only in the face of major terroristic acts and usually referred to one specific act of violence. Now the target is the entire rotten ideology which lies behind strategies of Islamist extremism. This is an important step and let us hope it may produce concrete fruits."

Bishop Aziz Mina said that the participants appreciated a speech given by Maronite Catholic Archbishop Paul Youssef Matar of Beirut: “Archbishop Matar spoke without a text, and focused on a few concepts of vital importance. He asked all Muslims to have the same respect for Christians that was shown by the prophet Mohammad himself. He recalled that for every sincere Muslim, Christians and Jews are ‘people of the Book’ who can never be considered members of a minority to subdue or maltreat, and even less as enemies. He also called all Muslims to unite and make their own indispensable contribution towards building peaceful cohabitation”.
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