Cardinal says Muslims in West must defend Christians’ rights in Islamic countries

.- Muslims living in the West must speak out in defense of Christians’ rights to religious freedom in Islamic countries so that “sacred principle of hospitality” can be attained, said Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor yesterday.

The archbishop of Westminster was invited to speak at the opening of the Australian Catholic University's new Asia-Pacific Centre of Inter-religious Dialogue.

According to a report published in The Age, the cardinal said it is essential that Muslims can worship freely in Melbourne and Sydney, and that Christians can worship freely in Riyadh or Kabul, he said. It is crucial for Christians and Muslims to maintain this “vital principle of sacred hospitality,” he added.

The central reason for interfaith co-operation is to uphold religious freedom, said the cardinal.

"Where Christians are being denied their rights or are subject to sharia law, that is not a matter on which Muslims in Britain or in Australia should remain silent. Where religious rights of minorities are disrespected in the name of Islam, the face of Islam is tarnished elsewhere in the world," he was quoted as saying.


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