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    » 11/08/2011, 00.00

    NEPAL

    Muslim leaders celebrate Eid and invite people to listen to the Pope

    Kalpit Parajuli

    For the Nepalese Islamic leaders the Pope’s call to solidarity and nonviolence pronounced in Assisi is the way forward. In Nepal there is an urgent need for dialogue between different faiths in order to prevent the spread of extremism.
    Kathmandu (AsiaNews) - On the occasion of the feast of Bakr-Eid, the Muslim community in Nepal emphasizes the need to listen to the message of solidarity and dialogue announced by Pope Benedict XVI in Assisi. Unlike other countries, Muslims in Nepal are struggling for years alongside Christians and other minorities to create harmony between different religions against violence and extremism.

    For about three years, the celebrations for the Eid-Bakr, the Muslim festival dedicated to sacrifice and prayers for the poor, has been considered a national holiday, as is the Christian Christmas, thanks to the proclamation of a secular state in 2006, after centuries of Hindu monarchy. However, in recent years, the Christian and Muslim communities in Nepal have often been the target of Hindu sectarian extremism, linked to the ancient absolute monarchy. In April 2009 a bomb exploded in the Catholic cathedral of Kathmandu, killing three people. On 26 September, two men shot Faizan Ahmad, general secretary of the Islamic Party of Nepal, as he left the mosque. To date the authorities have not yet identified the killers, but the Muslim community says that Hindu extremists are behind the killing.

    Nazrul Hussein, head of the Islamic Sangjh of Nepal, said that all religions must fight against the spread of fundamentalism. For the leader, the Pope’s indications expressed on the day of prayer in Assisi is the correct way to go. "We are celebrating Eid - he said - despite our mourning for our slain leader."

    Hussein appealed to religious minorities and to the government shed light on the case. "We have taken the Pope's appeal seriously - he says - and we want to spread it throughout the world. In recent months we have received much support from other communities. This has prompted the government to start a committee of investigation. Without this solidarity would have been impossible. "

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    See also

    13/10/2011 INDIA - VATICAN - ASSISI 2011
    Baha'i on pilgrimage to Assisi: education, ecology and dialogue against fundamentalism
    A.K. Merchant, national administrator of the Baha'i community of India, highlights the themes that he will bring to the 25th international meeting for peace in Assisi, on 27 October. An interview with AsiaNews.

    18/12/2006 VATICAN
    Pope: peace in Holy Land from shared commitment of Jews, Christians and Muslims
    Benedict XVI again underlined the fundamental importance of inter-faith dialogue and “concrete gestures of reconciliation”.

    01/02/2007 VATICAN
    Dialogue between Jews, Christians and Muslims is a “vital necessity” of our times, says Pope
    Benedict XVI stresses the need for people from monotheistic religions to confront the mystery of God through reason. What is needed is a “real dialogue, one that respects differences, that is courageous, patient and persevering, one that finds its strength in prayer ”.

    06/05/2009 VATICAN
    I will be a pilgrim of peace in the Holy Land, says Pope
    A message from Benedict XVI to Jordanians, Israelis and Palestinians on the eve of his departure for the land where Christ lived, to “share in your hopes and dreams, as well as your pain and difficulties”.

    29/11/2007 VATICAN
    Pope to 138 Islamic scholars, continue dialogue on the basis of respect of the person
    In a letter signed by Cardinal Bertone, Benedict XVI expresses his appreciation for the initiative by the Muslim scholars, inviting its initiator and a delegation of signatories to the Vatican. Jointly, both sides must promote mutual respect and acceptance amongst the younger generations.



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