11/04/2008, 00.00
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Muslim woman at the Vatican to promote Islamic-Christian dialogue

by Santosh Digal
Amina Rasul set up an NGO that operates in favour of the population of Mindanao, long suffering from war and violence. Peace, progress and democracy are the values on which coexistence between religions can be built.
Manila (AsiaNews) – A few women are taking part in the Catholic Muslim Forum currently underway at the Vatican; one of them comes from the Philippines and is a Muslim. Amina Rasul (pictured), a former professor and now a journalist, has been able to set up an NGO that is involved in humanitarian work in Mindanao.

At the Forum she has been tasked with describing the activities in favour of inter-faith dialogue that are underway in this southern Filipino island, scene for decades of a war between the Filipino army and Islamic rebels.

“I thought this would be another venue to ask for help for the humanitarian crisis in the Mindanao,” she said.

Her NGO, Philippine Council for Islam and Democracy (PCID), is involved in projects that promote peace in the province and provide help to the population, which has suffered a lot from the ongoing violence.

Thanks to her lead the PCID is actively involved in building a “peaceful, progressive and democratic Muslim Mindanao.”

Before leaving for Rome she renewed her commitment to solve the island’s “humanitarian crisis”.

In the past she taught peace and conflict studies at the Dominican-run Pontifical University of Santo Tomas in Manila, thus favouring the integration of Muslim and Christian cultures.

Ingrid Mary Mattson, a professor of Islamic studies at the Hartford (Connecticut) Seminary in the United States, is among the other women present at the Christian-Muslim Forum which ends next Thursday.

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