Reject extremism, JDV urges scholars
() - September 22, 2003 - 12:00am
Speaker Jose de Venecia Jr. appealed for "moderation and a resounding rejection of extremism" at the opening Saturday of the world conference of more than 200 Islamic and Christian scholars in Tripoli, Libya.

"We say ‘yes" to moderation and a resounding ‘no’ to extremism," he told a conference hosted by the World Islamic Call Society.

"Whatever our religion, whatever our faith, whatever our beliefs, I believe the key, the overriding key is moderation," he said.

De Venecia said it is a major objective of Philippine foreign policy to push the creation of an interfaith council as a regular organ of the United Nations.

While the proposal may initially cause some consternation in the secularist UN, it is an idea whose time has come, he added.

De Venecia said the proposal was also endorsed by the Association of Asian Parliaments for Peace, the Organization of Islamic Conference, and the African Union.

"One of the earliest and keenest supporters (of the proposal) is Iranian President Khatami," he said.

De Venecia said Islam and Christianity are sister civilizations that came from the same wellspring of faith.

"Islam and Christianity have an overriding kinship that we can all invoke justifiably to emphasize those things that unite us rather than those that keep us apart," he said.

Preceding De Venecia at the rostrum was Algerian revolutionary hero Ahmed ben Bella, 86, who launched the non-aligned movement with Yugoslavia’s Josif Broz Tito and Gammal Abdel Nasser of Egypt.

De Venecia was joined by Ilocos Norte Rep. Roquito Ablan, Makati Rep. Teodoro Locsin Jr. and Sen. Manuel Villar Jr. — Paolo Romero

AFRICAN UNION ASSOCIATION OF ASIAN PARLIAMENTS DE VENECIA ILOCOS NORTE REP IRANIAN PRESIDENT KHATAMI ISLAM AND CHRISTIANITY ISLAMIC AND CHRISTIAN JOSIF BROZ TITO AND GAMMAL ABDEL NASSER OF EGYPT MAKATI REP MANUEL VILLAR JR.
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