10/13/2007, 00.00
PAKISTAN
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Catholics and Muslims dine together in Church for the end Ramadan

by Qaiser Felix
Faisalabad’s Council for Inter-religious dialogue hosted Muslim leaders and faithful in the cathedral of Sts. Peter and Paul, offering them an iftar, a bequest with which Ramadan fasting is ended. Muslim scholars condemn the blasphemy laws.

Faisalabad (AsiaNews) – In a move to promote harmony and understanding between the nation’s religious communities, Faisalabad’s Council for Inter-religious dialogue hosted Muslim leaders and faithful in the cathedral of Sts. Peter and Paul, offering them an iftar, [a bequest with which Ramadan fasting is ended ndr].

Among the banquets’ guests, which took place on October 11th last, was Sufi Masood Ahmad Lassani, a well known Muslim scholar, and the bishop of the diocese Msgr. Joseph Coutts.  Speaking to AsiaNews, the bishop explained: “in order to bring harmony in society we have to seek out and reach out to all people of good will, like Ahmad Lassani”.

These are the people, the prelate adds, “Who give us courage to carry on work on peace and harmony knowing that there are so many peace loving Muslims of good will who want to work with us. Perhaps meeting more often we will be able to have a more concrete impact”.

Speaking with AsiaNews, Lassani condemned the death threats which are oppressing Pakistan’s Christians who refuse to convert to Islam:  “force and violence is not acceptable and can not bring any positive change but spread hate among masses.  I myself have faced threats for his interfaith activities but he is firm to keep continue this struggle”.

The scholar also attacked the misuse of blasphemy laws in the country, underlining how they are almost always used to settle personal issues: “many innocent people had been trapped falsely to settle the personal disputes and false accusers went unpunished. This is a total ‘Taliban’ mentality and we condemn this strongly”.

 

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