.- French imams visiting the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue released Thursday a joint communique condemning the attack on Charlie Hebdo and calling for freedom of expression.
“Without freedom of expression, the world is in danger,” the Jan 8. statement reads.
It also asked that the media provide information which is “respectful of religions.”
Signed by Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, the release comes at the end of a two-day visit to the Vatican of a delegation of French imams, accompanied by representatives of the French bishops conference.
Cardinal Tauran and the imams write they are “shocked” by the attack on Charlie Hebdo, and back Pope Francis’ words, underscoring their “closeness and human and spiritual solidarity to the victims and their families.”
Considering the impact of media on public opinion, the Vatican and the imams also invited “responsible media to provide information that is respectful of religions, of their followers and of their practices, thus fostering a culture of encounter.”
The release also asked religious leaders to “always promote a culture of peace and hope, able to win over fear and to build bridges among men,” and stressed that interreligious dialogue “is the only path to walk together in order to dissipate prejudices.”
Before the meeting at the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, the four imams launched the idea of a mobilization of all religions in France to testify that “no religion is violent.”