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Cardinal urges Muslims to step up anti-bin Laden rhetoric

French Cardinal Paul Poupard has said that Muslim authorities should condemn "ever more strongly" the "degrading objectives" of Osama bin Laden.

In an interview with the newspaper Le Figaro, the president of the Pontifical Council for Culture explained that the Muslim world seems to be less able to confront the terrorist challenge for two reasons.

First, it cannot base itself on "founding texts read in the light of a 2000-year tradition," and, second, it does not have a single authority comparable to the Pope's, the cardinal said.

He called the ongoing conflict "a war of barbarism against civilisation. The Muslims are scandalized by the lamentable and sacrilegious way that bin Laden uses Islam to justify violence."