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Imam tells Cathedral congregation about shared convictions

A leading Imam visiting Sydney from New York told a lunchtime congregation that included the Archbishop of Sydney and the NSW Premier of the task of "shaping shared convictions" that Muslims and Christians must "strive to accomplish together".

Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf is co-founder of the Cordoba Initiative, with the job of interpreting Islam to the West and the West to the Islamic world.

"We intend to deepen our belief that effective public engagement around difficult issues can include, and in fact, requires, religious voices," he said. "From our own experience, we affirm that multiple religious voices praying and working together can serve our deepest common good when joined together to represent the conscience of our communities."

He said that events since September 11 2001 mean that interreligious dialogue is no longer an option, but an imperative.

"Where once many of us may not have cared to speak, much less listened, to others, now we do, and we must."

Cardinal Pell said the task for Christians within Australia is to uphold the rights of minority groups within the community including Muslims.

"Just as we Christians rightly demand that the lives and civic rights of Christian minorities in, for example, Indonesia and the Middle East are respected, we must be equally vigilant that all minorities in Australia are treated with respect and made to feel welcome as fellow Australians."

Born in Kuwait of Egyptian ancestry, Feisal Abdul Rauf has been Imam of Masjid al-Farah in New York City since 1983. As founder of the ASMA Society dedicated to furthering Islamic Art and Culture, he teaches Islam and Sufism at the Centre for Religious Inquiry at St Bartholomew's Church in New York City, and at the New York Seminary.


Interfaith Gathering, St Mary's Cathedral: Cardinal George Pell's address (1/4/04)
Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, Presentation at Sydney Australia April 1 2004

Voice across the divide (The Age 2/4/04)
Leading Islamic cleric condemns terror bombing (Catholic World News 1/4/04)
Israel-Palestine conflict seen as key to Middle East (Catholic World News 1/4/04)
Pell to host Muslim cleric at Cathedral Interfaith Prayer (CathNews 31/3/04)
Cardinal Pell welcomes Muslim cleric at St Mary's Cathedral for Interfaith Prayer Service (Archdiocese of Sydney 30/3/04)
Archdiocese of Sydney
Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf (
Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf biography (Centre for Understanding Islam)

2 Apr 2004