Sept. 11 Terrorists Hijacked Islam, Says Muslim

Dublin Religious Leaders in Historic Gathering

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DUBLIN, Ireland, MARCH 22, 2002 (Zenit.org).- Terrorists hijacked airliners as well as the principles of Islam on that fateful day of Sept. 11, a Muslim leader told a historic interreligious gathering in Ireland.



Dr. Ali Abdulla Al-Salah, imam of the Islamic Center, Milltown, said that peace, justice and respect for all is the one slogan of followers of Moses, Jesus and Mohammed.

His comments came Wednesday at a prayer assembly called by Cardinal Desmond Connell, archbishop of Dublin. He convoked the meeting in the spirit of the Day of Prayer for Peace held in Assisi, Italy, on Jan. 24.

Cardinal Connell invited fellow Christian leaders and representatives of the world religions "to examine ourselves before God concerning our commitment to peace, to ask him for this gift, and to bear witness to our shared longing for a world of greater justice and solidarity." The group gathered in Clonliffe College, Drumcondra.

Prayers for peace were offered by representatives of 12 Christian denominations and by representatives of Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and Sikhism. Prayers were also offered for peace in Jerusalem, Ireland, and for the people of Afghanistan.

"By coming together we want to declare that whoever uses religion to foment violence contradicts religion´s deepest and truest inspiration," Cardinal Connell said.

Captain Howard Russell of the Salvation Army and Gillian Kingston of the Dublin Council of Churches read the prayer of St Francis of Assisi: "Lord, make me an instrument of your peace."

Chief Rabbi Yaakov Pearlman said that the words of the prophets from thousands of years ago are still relevant today before reading a passage from Isaiah, Chapter 11, which uses the image of the wolf living in harmony with the lamb to illustrate the theme of peace.

After the offering of a sign of peace, those gathered added soil around the roots of an oak tree to be planted in the Visitors Center in the Phoenix Park, as a reminder of the event. The party then shared a meal together. The gathering was organized by the Dublin Diocese Ecumenical Committee.