ISLAM-CHRISTIAN DIALOGUE

257 MODERATE ISLAM? Notes 1998 The editor of a Saudi publication recent- ly wrote: not all Muslims are terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslims; massacres against children and civilians are per- petrated in the name of God (Allah) the Merciful Clement. Already in 2002, the most famous Muslim religious leaders justified the martyrdom actions of the mujàhidìn, finding their foundation in the Koran and in the tradition of the prophet. The daily events of the war in progress increasingly report that the control of the population remains with the ulemas and the immams of the mosques; they have become the privileged interlocutors of the western governments. It is clear that the fight against religious fundamenta- lism can only be won with the contribu- tion that the Muslim religious leaders in the Arab countries could give, and all the means should be adopted by the coun- tries concerned to obtain their adhesion. The various public initiatives of dialogue undertaken by Christian organizations in the West can only bear fruit if they are replicated in Islamic countries. It is essential that the The EU must also ensure that the path of dialogue is fol- lowed in Islamic, Arab and non-Arab countries. Personally I don't believe in the definition of "moderate Islam". There is only one Islam, applied in such different measures according to the rulers of the moment and of the power in place in a given place; in no case does it contain the ingredients of what we call democracy: freedom and equality. At the moment, there is no separation between state and religion in Arab coun- tries: it is therefore only the way in which Islamic laws are taught and implemented that differentiates Islam and defines it as moderate Islam. It is an Islam that should not discriminate against citizens on the basis of their religious beliefs or sex, allow freedom of worship and religious choice, not prohibit the exercise of certain profes- sions to women and non-Muslims, whe- re there is freedom of thought, religious choice, equal rights between citizens without any discrimination of sex or reli- gious belief.

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