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Catholic and Muslim leaders unite to condemn WMDs, terrorism

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Religious Leaders Call for Peaceful World
American Muslims Denounce Terrorism

Rome: Muslim religious leaders from Iran and U.S. Catholic bishops say they have a common fight against weapons of mass destruction, terrorism, and violent religious extremism. “Christianity and Islam share a commitment to love and respect for the life, dignity, and welfare of all members of the human community,” they said in an Aug. 18 joint declaration. “Peaceful coexistence is built on equity and justice. We call upon all to work towards developing a culture of tolerance, dialogue, and peace that respects the religious traditions of others.” The two delegations agreed that belief in one God unifies Jews, Christians, and Muslims. “Religious leaders must provide moral guidance and speak out against injustice and anything that is harmful to humankind,” said the declaration, titled “Gathered in the name of God.” The joint declaration rejected the development and use of weapons of mass destruction as well as “all acts of terrorism.” “Together we are working for a world without weapons of mass destruction. We call on all nations to reject acquiring such weapons and call on those who possess them to rid themselves of these indiscriminate weapons, including chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons,” the declaration said. They characterized violent extremism and terrorism as “perversions of authentic religious belief.” “The guilt of terrorist acts should not be assigned to members of an entire religion, nationality, culture, race, or ethnic group,” they added.