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    » 09/03/2013, 00.00

    SYRIA - LEBANON - VATICAN

    Muslim intellectual calls for prayer with pope for peace in Syria



    Ridwan al-Sayyid, a professor of Islamic studies in Beirut, calls on the international community to listen to the pope's words. The World Day of Prayer for Peace in Syria is "an opportunity to open the door to a peaceful solution of the conflict. Armed action in Syria will lead to a war in the Middle East."

    Beirut (AsiaNews) - "The pope's Day of Prayer for Syria is fundamental to open the door to a peaceful solution, in lieu of military action that would increase even more the suffering of the peoples of Syria and Lebanon," Ridwan Al-Sayyid told AsiaNews. A Muslim and an Islam expert for the al-Ijtihad magazine, he taught Islamic studies at Harvard and the University of Chicago (United States).

    "Lebanese Muslims are grateful to the pope for his efforts in favour of peace," Al-Sayyid noted. "Our hope is that the Day of Prayer on 7 September and appeals by Francis against the war will stop the crisis in Syria and Lebanon". In his view, Muslims will join the initiative and will do everything to spread it.

    For al-Sayyid, everyone in Syria and Lebanon is suffering from the violence of the war between the Bashar al-Assad's regime and rebels.

    "So far no one has looked at a diplomatic solution to the conflict," he explained. "This has led to the war spilling over into Lebanon, making it impossible for the various warring factions to find reconciliation in the short term."

    For the scholar, the international community must listen to Pope Francis. His conclusion is that "Syria needs peace. Hizbollah's intervention, outside forces and the US move towards military action could lead to a war throughout the region."

     

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