Islamic- Catholic Dialog Committee Resumes Meetings, Muslim Brotherhood Likely In Attendance


A Catholic News service has reported that Pope Benedict XVI has met with members of an Islamic-Catholic dialog committee known to contain substantial representation from the global Muslim Brotherhood. According to the report:

Pope Benedict XVI met with members of the Islamic-Catholic Liaison Committee in a private audience at the Vatican on June 11. Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran and Archbishop Pier Luigi Celata, president and secretary, respectively, of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, also were at the audience. The committee was meeting in Rome June 11-13 to discuss the theme “Christians and Muslims: God’s Witnesses of Justice, Peace and Compassion in a World That Suffers From Violence.” The joint committee meets regularly and was created in 1995 by Vatican and Muslim representatives as a way to promote mutual understanding, strengthen religious values and contribute to peace and justice. It includes representatives from major international Islamic organizations, including the Saudi-based International Islamic Forum for Dialogue, the Muslim World League and the World Muslim Conference.

The Islamic- Catholic Liaison Committee (ICLC) was formed in 1995, probably under the auspices of the International Islamic Council for Da`wah and Relief (IICDR), and is comprised of important organizations tied to the global Muslim Brotherhood including the Muslim World League and Al-Azhar. The ICLC had been meeting since 1995 with the 12th and last reported meeting held in Brussels in June 2006. Many of the meetings were attended by officials from the Federation of Islamic Organizations in Europe (FIOE), the umbrella group for the Muslim Brotherhood in Europe. The meetings appear to have been suspended as a result of the ongoing conflict between the Islamic world and the Vatican over remarks made by the Pope during a speech in Germany in 2006. Since that time, there have been ongoing attempts by both Catholic and Islamic leaders to repair the breach in relations. Many of the attempts coming from the Islamic world have involved important Muslim Brotherhood leaders but Youssef Qaradawi, perhaps the most important leader of the global Brotherhood, has said he will not participate in interfaith dialog until the Pope apologies for his remarks.

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