Mabda Report 31/03/13

Bosnian Grand Mufti’s message to Pope Francis

The election of Argentine Pope Francis, the 266th Bishop of Rome and head of the Roman Catholic Church, deserves both our congratulations and our reflection for the future of Muslim-Christian coexistence and dialogue.

As a survivor of genocide at the end of 20th century in Bosnia, I am very interested in the policy of the Vatican and the message of the Holy See, which speaks for the Catholic Church. While the political influence of the Vatican might be limited to public diplomacy, the spiritual influence has great significance for millions of Christians around the world. Consequently, the pope has always had a great impact on global peace and security.

Indonesians pin high hopes on new pontiff

The election of Pope Francis has some Muslims excited about a stronger dialogue with the Vatican. What's more, many Muslims and Christians in Indonesia anticipate the new pontiff will positively influence interfaith relations in the country and in the world generally.

"I hope in the future the Vatican's policy will be able to set a dialogue between Muslims and Christians," Muhammadiyah Chairman Din Syamsuddin told Khabar Southeast Asia during a panel discussion on religious intolerance at the Jakarta Foreign Correspondents Club (JFCC).

Muslims vanish as Buddhist attacks approach Myanmar's biggest city

The Muslims of Sit Kwin were always a small group who numbered no more than 100 of the village's 2,000 people. But as sectarian violence led by Buddhist mobs spreads across central Myanmar, they and many other Muslims are disappearing.

Their homes, shops and mosques destroyed, some end up in refugee camps or hide in the homes of friends or relatives. Dozens have been killed.

"We don't know where they are," says Aung Ko Myint, 24, a taxi driver in Sit Kwin, a farming village where on Friday Buddhists ransacked a store owned by the town's last remaining Muslim. "He escaped this morning just before the mob got here."

East London Mosque Clears Misconceptions

Reaching out to neighbors to give a better image of Islam and Muslims, East London Mosque is opening doors for non-Muslim visitors in an effort to clear misconceptions about the worship place.

"There is more pressure on us as an institution because our mosque has come under a lot of pressure," Dilowar Khan, executive director of the East London mosque, told the BBC on Saturday, March 30.