Pope to host multi-faith meeting for peace

October 20, 2011 by  
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Pope to host multi-faith meeting for peaceVatican, October 19, 2011: Over 200 spiritual leaders, including Hindus, Muslims, Jains, Sikhs and Buddhists, will attend a multi-faith meeting being hosted by Pope Benedict on October 27 in Vatican to promote world peace, reports the Indian Express.

The pontiff is hosting the multi-faith meeting, begun by his predecessor Pope John Paul II, the Vatican said in a statement.

The spiritual leaders invited are from Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims, Sikhs, Confucianists, Baha’i, Jains, Jews, Taoists and Zoroastrian traditions.

Among the Hindu invitees are Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson Rajmohan Gandhi, who has already participated in an earlier meeting. Three Jains, five Sikhs and 67 Buddhists leaders are in the list of invitees.

Around 70 Muslim leaders, including from Iran and Saudi Arabia, will also be present on the occasion.

– ucan

Counter-terrorism expert calls for “United States of Islam”

July 6, 2011 by  
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Egypt - Tahrir Square

Uprisings in Egypt and other Arab lands prompt call for single Islamic state

UK: A leading Muslim Brotherhood figure and counter-terrorism expert in London has called upon the world’s Arabs to launch a multi-national movement with the goal of establishing a single Islamic state.

Dr Kamal el-Helbawy, the Brotherhood’s former spokesman in the West, now Chairman of the Centre for the Study of Terrorism, told the Egyptian daily newspaper Al-Shorouq that it would be called “the United States of Islam”.

Perhaps buoyed by the success of the uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt, and the resilience of demonstrators in other Arab countries including Syria and Libya, Dr Helbawy called for a new revolution in Muslim nations.

He said:

Why shouldn’t we have a country called ‘The United States of Islam’…

I propose that the Arab peoples who demonstrated for the sake of the revolution, so they could move from the stage of oppression and corruption to the stage of stability and security, organise themselves from now on and set a deadline – five or 10 years – [and] take to the streets with the slogan ‘The Arab People Wants to Remove the Borders [Between Its Countries]’… These borders were drawn up by imperialist nations, making our rulers guardians of imperialist borders.

The global state of Islam is our ideal.
Dr Helbawy said that the Muslim Brotherhood was organised in 80 countries and has, along with other Islamists, the right to establish a global movement like socialism or Zionism.

Asked whether a Muslim Brotherhood member would associate himself with the global movement or with his homeland, and what would happen should there be a contradiction between them, Dr Helbawy replied:

There will be no contradictions. Our thinking and our affiliation are to the exalted Allah. Our affiliation is to Islam. The global state of Islam is our ideal.

Dr Helbawy was formerly a member of the Muslim Brotherhood’s executive office and of its World Shura Council. Though no longer at the heart of the Brotherhood’s leadership, he continues to give interviews about the organisation’s affairs.

And he is no stranger to controversy. Following the death of Osama bin Laden, Dr Helbawy paid tribute to the al-Qaeda leader and blamed the US for the 9/11 attacks.

His latest comments are particularly concerning for Christian minorities in the Arab world, whose lives continue to be rocked by the political instability across the region. The scope and agenda of the “Arab Spring” may prove to be even more threatening than they initially feared.

Al-Shorouq Egyptian newspaper

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