Muslim Action Committee

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Charles calls for religious tolerance
Tue Mar 21, 2006 3:04 PM GMT

By Tom Perry
CAIRO (Reuters) - Prince Charles told Muslim scholars and students on Tuesday that the backlash over Danish cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammad showed the danger of religious insensitivity and intolerance.
Addressing 800 people at al-Azhar University, the heir to the throne who will one day become head of the Church of England said mistrust between the West and Islam was having "dreadful results" and urged tolerance.
"The recent ghastly strife and anger over the Danish cartoons shows the danger that comes of our failure to listen and to respect what is precious and sacred to others," he told the audience at one of Sunni Islam's top seats of learning.
The publication of the cartoons, one of which depicted the prophet wearing a bomb-shaped turban, sparked violence in the Muslim world. They were first printed in a Danish newspaper and then reprinted across Europe and other parts of the world.
Charles, who has urged the West to learn from Islam and received an honorary doctorate from al-Azhar on Tuesday, is on a tour which includes Saudi Arabia, Islam's birthplace, and India.
Mutual respect between faiths needs to be restored so as to overcome the distrust that poisons so many people's lives, Charles said.
"This, of course, is made infinitely more difficult by the stereotypes and absurdities propagated by certain sections of the media," he said.
Charles said it was not acceptable to stigmatise Muslims in Europe or to discriminate against Christians in the Islamic world.
"I think of the experience of Muslims living in Europe who are subject to varied and continuous expressions of Islamophobia by fellow-Europeans.
"I think of Christians living within some Muslim nations, who find themselves fettered by harsh and degrading restrictions, or subject to abuse by some of their fellow-citizens," he said.

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