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Pope’s visit to Iraq meeting Ayatullah Ali Al-Sistani

9th Apr 2021

Sir, Having visited Iraq several times since the fall of Saddam Hussein and been to Najaf, I was delighted to read the article by Harun Nasrullah (‘Pope Francis meets…Ayatullah Ali Al-Sistani..’ The Muslim News, March 19) about this historic meeting. It means that the highest authorities in the Shi’a and Sunni traditions have now met Pope Francis. May their discussions prove fruitful for world peace.
May I suggest that religious leaders of all kinds in Britain should go out of their way to meet their opposite numbers in other faiths. If they have not already done so, they should try to come to know each other and become friends. In this way, they will be able to defuse tensions and prevent prejudiced behaviour.
Ordinary members of all faiths and denominations should follow the good example already mentioned, by actively befriending people of other faiths. This surely is the best way to prevent the ill-effects of Islamophobia and anti-Semitism, with militant atheism.
Yours,
Lord Hylton
House of Lords

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