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A Sincere Dialogue

Atila S. Guimarães  -  December 31, 2001

Sant Egridio Interfaith Conference

Hassan al Tourabi, third from left, mentor of Bin Laden, joins hands at an inter-faith conference - L'Actualite des Religions, June 2002
Hassan al Tourabi is an important Muslim religious. His face is one of the most frequently seen of the Muslims at the inter-religious meetings promoted by the Vatican. One might call him a Muslim liberal. The magazine Actualité des Religions(November 2001) published a summary of the life of Bin Laden in the Arab world. In the early ‘90s, because of his “fundamentalist” behavior Bin Laden lost his citizenship in Saudi Arabia. Who received the head of Mohammedan terrorism?

None other than Hassan al Tourabi. Bin Laden found refuge in the Sudan with the religious, whom Bin Laden in some ways regarded as his mentor. The magazine mentioned other facts about Tourabi in passing. He is considered the principal thinker of Islamism and the one who tried to realize the federation of the Muslim peoples. He shares with John Paul II the “desire for a universal religious rebirth,” but Tourabi understands this as an “awakening of Islam.” The thinker is clear on the matter, he is referring to “the return of the example of the Prophet [Mohammed] himself.”

One can only wonder about the value of Vatican reports about its inter-religious meetings when one of its principal participants has this kind of relationship with Osama Bin Laden and makes statements like these with respect to Mohammedanism. Could he be a sincere participant in the inter-religious dialogue?

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