Contributed by Myriam Ambroselli
(Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem) Cologne, Germany, February 2016 – Regarding the Syrian tragedy and Islamic fundamentalism, Bishop William Shomali stressed that such a change “could come from within Islam.” He recalled the initiatives of President al-Sisi in Egypt and his speech at the University of Al-Azhar in Cairo for a revival of Islamic religious discourse, to eliminate any drift towards fanaticism. Bishop Shomali also cited an open letter to the Muslim world by the French Muslim philosopher, Abdennour Bidar. The letter invites Islam, in the grip of a deep crisis, with the challenge of facing contemporary problems, to a genuine dialogue with Western societies. According to Abdenour Bidar, Islam must question the place in society of a religion that would want totalitarian jihadism.
Bishop Shomali also spoke out on the issue of resolving the Syrian conflict, stating, “it is essential to cooperate with Assad, a democratically elected president, to eradicate the so-called Islamic State. After that, a cease-fire must be applied immediately. Then should follow the reconstruction of Syria and the return of millions of Syrian refugees.” Everything will be crowned by “free elections“, opines the Bishop from Jerusalem.
Originally posted at http://en.lpj.org/2016/02/18/bishop-shomali-in-germany-syrian-refugees-are-expected-to-return-home/