The ninth   session
Islamic – Catholic Liaison Committee

the Islamic-Catholic Liaison Committee held its ninth meeting in the Vatican, 19-20 January 2004 , equivalent to 27-28 Dhu al-Qada 1424 H. The Catholic Delegation was headed by Archbishop Michael L. Fitzgerald, President of the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue, Vatican City, while the Islamic Delegation was headed by H.E. Prof. Dr. Hamid bin Ahmad Al-Rifaie, President of the International Islamic Forum for Dialogue , Jeddah. The theme was Human dignity and humanitarian rights in armed conflicts

Members of the Islamic delegation
The ninth section of the Islamic Catholic Liaison Committee
27 - 28 / 11 / 1424 H. Corresponding to 19 – 20 / 01 / 2004 A.D.
Vatican – Rome
01.   H. E. Prof. Dr. Hamid Bin Ahmad AL-rifaie,
      President of IIFD &  Head of the delegation
02.   H. E. Prof.  Kamil AL-sharif,
      Sec. Gen. of  IICDR
03.   H. E. Prof. Dr. Abdullah Bin Omar Nasif
President of  WMC.
04.   H. E. Dr. Ahmad AL-rawi,
President of  FIOE
05.   H. E. Alshekh  Ali AL-nshowan,
      Religious advisor of H. H. Prince  AL-wled Bin Talal
06.   H. E. Dr. Abdullah Ridwam.
Representative  of MWL.
07.   Dr. Ahmad jaa billah - Paris
08.   Dr. chakeeb bin maklouf
09.   Dr Ali abo shwema - Italy
10.   Dr. Ibrahem Al-Zyaat - Germany
11.   Dr. Basel abdulgabar - Britch
12.   Dr. Iqbal Sacarany – Britch
13.   Dr. Muhamad Nor Dchan – Italy
14.   Dr. Abu Baker Kadodah – Italy
15.   Dr. Nora Jaa billah – Franc
16.   Dr . Talal Yusef  - Saudi Embassy – Italy
17.   Dr. Fatima Abdul hakim – Italy
18.         maryou Shatelaa – Rome
19.   Dr. Sumaya Al-Barq - Italy


Islamic-Catholic Liaison Committee
Press release

With the help of Almighty God, the Islamic-Catholic Liaison Committee held its ninth meeting in the Vatican, 19-20 January 2004 , equivalent to 27-28 Dhu al-Qada 1424 H. The Catholic Delegation was headed by Archbishop Michael L. Fitzgerald, President of the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue, Vatican City, while the Islamic Delegation was headed by H.E. Prof. Dr. Hamid bin Ahmad Al-Rifaie, President of the International Islamic Forum for Dialogue , Jeddah. The theme was Human dignity and humanitarian rights in armed conflicts . This was treated from a religious point of view according to the teaching of our two religious traditions . There followed an exchange on Christian – Muslim relations with regard to some current concerns . Both sides agreed on the following points :

  1. Because we , Christians and Muslims , believe in one God , we acknowledge that peace is a name of God , and that human dignity is a gift of Almighty God . We therefore appeal fir continuous prayer for peace , and we affirm that justice and peace are the basis of relations and of interaction among human persons .
  2. We appeal for an immediate end to all conflicts , including all forms of armed conflict, as well as all forms of aggression against the security and stability of peoples . We affirm the rights of peoples to self-determination , so that human life be spared , especially that of innocent people , children , women , the elderly and the disabled .
  3. We appeal for the full respect for humanitarian law and for the rights of civilians , as well as those of prisoners , during armed conflict; and furthermore that no one be prevented from access to water , food , medicine , and medical care . We also appeal for the preservation of infrastructures , property , homes , trees , animals and all that is necessary for life . This appeal is based on common religious values and the need to uphold international conventions .
  4. We appeal for respect fot the sacted character of places of worship and for their protection in time of war and peace , and for the right of worship to be upheld .
  5. We affirm the right to religious freedom and the practice of our religions according to their particularities .
  6. We are convinced that violence generates violence , and that this vicious circle should end . We declare that dialogue is the best way for treating conflicts and wars and for realizing justice and peace among human beings and societies , and therefore we encourage the development of the culture of dialogue .

The participants were honoured to be received in Audience by his Holiness Pope John Paul II . who expressed appreciation for the work of the Committee and encouraged it to continue its endeavours to promote peace .


        Archbishop Michael L. Fitzgerald                         Prof. Dr. Hamid A. Al-Rifaie

                        President                                                                 President
                Pontifical Council                                       International Islamic Forum for Dialogue
          For Inter-Religious Dialogue                     
                       Vatican                                                                      Jeddah


Tuesday, 20 January 2004



 President of the international Islamic Forum for Dialogue



Your Holiness,

Personally and on behalf of Muslim delegation to the Islamic – Catholic Liaison  Committee.

I would like to express our pleasure to meet your holiness, and we are very happy to see you in good health.

The world today truly, is in need to wise men and intellectuals of your caliber.   

As a Muslim we appreciate your equitable positions regarding the middle - east issues, and regarding peace and justice in the world.

Your Holiness,

We look forward to hearing from your Holiness regarding respect the freedom of belief, and not to violate the religious values practices, and to respect its specialties.

Thank you once again, and my Allah help you.

æÇáÓáÇã Úáíßã

Tuesday, 20 January 2004


   President of the Pontifical council for interreligous Dialogue


Most Holy Father,

The participants in the ninth meeting of the Islamic – Catholic Liaison Committee are honoured to be received by Your Holiness today. The annual meeting of the committee provides an occasion for a useful exchange on situations around the world in which Muslims and Christians are involved. The conflicts raging in different parts of the world, but also the growing sense of the need for interreligious cooperation in the service of peace, provide a significant backdrop for these exchanges. They also highlight the importance of the them which the committee has been discussing: Respect for human dignity and humanitarian law in times of conflict. 

The constant appeals Your Holiness has made for peace based on justice, your reiterated call for a strong commitment to education for peace, have provide an inspiration to all of us. We are thankful for this meeting with Your Holiness today, and we await your words of encouragement.      

Tuesday, 20 January 2004



Dear BROTHER Bishop,

Distinguished Participants in the Meeting of the Islamic – Catholic Liaison Committee, Peace be with you! It is my pleasure to welcome you at the conclusion of your ninth annual meeting. Your committee which facilitates communications between Christians and Muslims, was established during a time of great expectation for world peace. Unfortunately, this hope has not yet been fulfilled. In the face of the tragedies which continue to afflict humanity, it is all the more necessary to convince people that peace is possible. Indeed, it is the duty ( cf. No. 4 Massage for the World Day of Peace, 2004 ). I encourage you, and all leaders of religions, to promote a culture of dialogue, mutual understanding and respect. Upon you all, I invoke the abundant blessing of Almighty God.  

Islam and Human Rights in Times
War and Natural Disasters


Islam guarantees Human Rights to all humankind, without discriminations on the base of race ethnics or religious differences. It is evident that Islam considers man as one of God’s creatures, but the only one gifted with the power of reason, a soul and the aspiration to pursue noble ideals. The fact that man has received these gifts is mentioned in the Holy Koran: “We have honoured the sons of Adam; provided them with transport on land and sea; given them for sustenance things good and pure; and conferred on them special favours, above a great part of Our Creation” (Sura 17:70). God has put man even above Angels, to whom He ordered to bow in front of Adam, the first man. Man, having been so honoured, has the duty to perform good deeds to deserve the gifts received by his Creator. Man has the obligation to apply justice, to spread the truth, in order to receive love and protection from his Lord.

The task that man has to carry out during his earthly life is to bring happiness for himself and all others. This will allow him to gain the reward in the afterlife.

The elevated dignity of man, mentioned in the Holy Koran, concerns the whole of humankind and it is not limited to privileged group.

The success of the mission that man has to accomplish on earth depends on the recognition and guarantee of Human Rights. Islam respects Human Rights to everybody, in every aspect of life, and considers them as an absolute necessity to protect the individuals and to ensure peace for the society, against threats of aggression or war.

Peace is the foundation of the preaching of Islam:

The safeguard of Human Rights and their implementation are like a lifesaver to those who are oppressed or whose property, life and honour are menaced. Islam encourages to guarantee those rights in peace and war, even if peace is its ultimate purpose.

Muslims have the religious duty to entertain good and peaceful relations with other peoples and to promote with them the collective interest. The Holy Quran says: “Allah forbids you not, with regard to those who fight you not for (your) faith nor drive you out of your homes, from dealing kindly and justly with them: for Allah loveth those who are just!” (Sura 60:8). “……. Therefore if they withdraw from you but fight you not, and (instead) send you (guarantees of) peace, then Allah hath opened no way for you (to war against them)” (Sura 4:90). “O ye who believe! Enter into Islam whole-heartedly; and follow not the footsteps of the Satan for he is to you an avowed enemy” (Sura 2:208). “But if the enemy incline towards peace do thou (incline) towards peace, and trust in Allah: for He is the One that heareth and knoweth (all things)” (Sura 8:61).

All peace loving men will find in these “ayats” (verses) the golden rule to follow to ensure peace and uproot all false justifications of war.

The meaning of Islam is peace, and Muslims use this word innumerable times a day to greet people. The words “salaam alaykum” (peace with you) are the last pronounced in every prayer.

Islam allows war only as legitimate defense.

The Holy Koran when speaks about war makes it very clear that the recourse to violence is possible only to repel an aggression. “To those against whom war is made, permission is given (to fight), because they are wronged; and verily Allah is Most Powerful for their aid. (They are) those who have been expelled from their homes in defiance or right, (for no cause) except that they say: ‘Our Lord is Allah’. Did not Allah check one set of people by means of another. There would surely have been pulled down monasteries, churches, synagogues, and mosques, in which the name of Allah is commemorated in abundant measure. Allah will certainly aid those whop aid His (cause). For verily Allah is Full of strength, Exalted in Might (Able to enforce His Will).” (Sura 22:39,40).

“Fight in the cause of Allah those who fight you but do not transgress limits: for Allah loveth not transgressors” (Sura 2:190). “And why should you not fight in the cause of Allah and of those who, being weak, are ill treated (and oppressed)? Men, women and children whose cry is : ‘Our Lord! Rescue us from this town, whose people are oppressors; and raise for us from Thee One who will protect: and raise for us from Thee One who will help!” (Sura 4:75).

Among the teachings of Islam, the principle of non-aggression comprises the prohibition to fight against children, women of the enemy, and also against old people and men of religion etc. The Prophet (r) commanded to his army to spare children, women, old men, to respect trees, cultivations and not to destroy houses. He commanded also to avoid any excess, treason, to not defame the dead.

Prisoners of war have to be respected.

Islamic law dictates to treat prisoners in a humane way, as part of the Islamic Faith. Allah speaks about the faithful who respect prisoners with these words: “And they feed for the love of Allah, the indigent, the orphan, and the captive” (Sura 76:8). The Prophet (r) recommended to his companions to take good care of prisoners. The Prophet (r) himself, during his life, freed many prisoners without conditions, on the basis of the following verse of the Holy Kuran: “It is not fitting for a Prophet that he should have prisoners of war ……..” (Sura 8:67). Islam respects the religion of the prisoners on the basis of the principle stated in the Holy Koran: “Let there be no compulsion in religion: truth stands out clear from error …..” (Sura 2:256). This verse concerns all people, other verses deal specifically with the “People of the Book”. “And thus (it is) that We have sent down the Book to thee. So the People of the Book believe therein, and also do some of these (pagan Arabs): and none but unbelievers reject Our signs” (Sura 29:47). Islam has always respected freedom of choice, thought, word and faith in time of peace as of war, and also agreements and treatises .

The respect of agreements and treatises.

This principle derives from the truth of the Unity of God and the consequent unity of mankind. The equality of all men requires the respect of engagements, among individuals as well among countries. The Holy Quran says: “Fulfill the Covenant of Allah when ye have entered into it, and break not your oaths after ye have confirmed them: indeed ye have made Allah your surety; for Allah knoweth all that ye do” (Sura 16:91). The principle of mutual agreement and trust has always been in Islam the foundation for the solution of any problem or conflict among men and among nations. The Holy Koran asserts the principle of respect of agreements in many verses: “Those who faithfully observe their trusts and their covenants ……Who will inherit Paradise. They will dwell therein (for ever)” (Sura 23:8,11).

Natural disasters.

All what happens in this world, catastrophes included, is decreed by Our Lord. The Holy Koran says: “……. But when (once) Allah willeth a people’s punishment there can be no turning it back, nor will they find, besides Him, any to protect.” (Sura 13:11). “Say: who is it that can screen you from Allah. If it be His wish to give you punishment or to give you mercy? Nor will they find for themselves, besides Allah, any protector or helper,” (Sura 33:17). But we must remember that God’s will does not mean that men should do their best to perform good deeds and to alleviate the suffering of those stricken by disasters. The Holy Kuran says: “O ye who believe! Bow down, prostrate yourselves and adore your Lord: and do good: that ye may prosper.” (Sura 22:77). In face of disasters the main virtue is patience, as mentioned in the following verses of the Holy Koran: (Al Imran 200: Al Baqara 153, 155: Zumar 10).  If patience is necessary to face suffering it is also indispensable and recommended mercy and compassion towards those who are suffering.


The mercy of God is infinite. Allah the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful, says in the Holy Koran: (Al Hjr 56: Arroom 50: Al Haraf 156) According to Abdullah bin Amr the Prophet said: “Allah will be merciful towards those who are merciful”. According to Jarir bin Abdallah the Prophet said: “Allah will not be merciful towards those who do not practice mercy”.

To do good deeds

The teaching of the Holy Koran stresses the command to do good deeds: “Who is he that will loan to Allah a beautiful loan, which Allah will double unto his credit and multiply many times? It is Allah that giveth (you) want or plenty, and to Him shall be your return.” (Sura 2:245).

Help and cooperation.

Everybody knows the effect of cooperation to reach the common interest. The Holy Koran says: “……….Help you one another in righteousness and piety, but help ye not one another in sin and rancour: fear Allah: for Allah is strict in punishment” (Sura 5:2). From the point of view of Islam cooperation has the purpose of giving happiness to oneself and to the others. If we adopt this ideal humankind will fulfill its aim of security, prosperity and peace. Islam, therefore, teaches that obeying the will of the Almighty, being unselfish and generous towards those in distress, remembering that all men are brothers, striving for peace among nations and peoples, is the only way to deserve the love of Allah, reach happiness in this world and the reward in the future life.


Dialogue Agreement Between IIFD & PCID
The First Session of Dialogue The Second Session of Dialogue The Third Session of Dialogue
The 7th  Session of Dialogue The 8th  Session of Dialogue The 9th  Session of Dialogue
The 10th  Session of Dialogue The 11  Session of Dialogue The 12  Session of Dialogue