.- The president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, Cardinal Renato Martino, said this week both political and religious fundamentalism can be avoided only through dialogue and religious freedom.
âOnly dialogue and religious freedom can prevent fundamentalism, both secular political and religious. All religions are peaceful and are the way to establishing coexistence and collaboration in issues such as social ones,â said the cardinal according to a report in Europa Press.
The cardinal said he was in favor of allowing public schools to offer an hour-long teaching on the Koran to Muslim students, as long as there was a need. âIf there is a need, if there are a hundred Muslim children in a school, I donât see what their religion cannot be taught. This is respect for human beings,â he said, noting that if we expect reciprocity from countries with Christian minorities, âthen we will have to put ourselves in the same situation of those who deny us this possibility.â
âItaly and Europe have developed to such a point in democracy and respect that now there is no turning back. Thus if there are persons of other religious, their religious and cultural identity must be respected,â he said.
The Muslim community in Italy recently requested the Italian government allow âone hour of Islamic religionâ in public schools attended by Muslim children, and that âtext books containing false notions about Islam and Muslims be corrected.â