Al-Liqa’ Center’s Joint Muslim-Christian Ramadan
Iftar in Haifa
29 September 2006
A joint Muslim-Christian Ramadan Iftar was organized by Al-Liqa’ Center’s branch in Galilee and was held in Haifa. Tens of leading religions, political and social figures, both men and women, attended this solemn gathering. Mr. Ziyad Shlewit, member of Al-Liqa’ committee in Galilee welcomed invitees focusing on the works of Al-Liqa’ in Muslim-Christian dialogue. He was followed by Dr. Geries S. Khoury, Director of Al-Liqa’, who addressed the gathering concerning the controversial speech of Pope Benedict XVI in Germany and its impact on Christian-Muslim relations. Dr. Khoury stressed that the Pope’s quotations on Islam and Prophet Mohammad was inappropriate and it contradicted the spirit of Vatican II (1964) which stressed dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Muslims.
Protests against the Pop’s speech by Muslims are legitimate. However, burning churches in Palestine and killing a nun in Somalia are abhorant acts which contradict the teachings of Islam. Dr. Khoury gave examples of consturctive dialogue between Christians and Muslims in the Middle East Ages that should have received the attention of His Holiness.
Following Dr. Khoury’s presentation, and prior to breaking the Ramadan Fasting, there was an open discussion. Attorney ‘Ali Rafe’, Mr. Sa’id Hashem, Prof. Butrus Abu Manneh, Attorney Mohammad Mi’ari and Rev. Fu’ad Dagher, all took part. All stressed Christian-Muslim unity and thanked Al-Liqa’ Center for organizing yearly this joint Muslim-Christian event.