Declaration issued by Catholic-Muslim joint committee

 The Joint Committee of the Permanent Committee of al-Azhar for Dialogue with the Monotheistic Religions and the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, which held its annual meeting in the Vatican on February 24-25, 2004, issued a common declaration yesterday, signed by Sheikh Fawzi al-Zafzaf, president of the Permanent Committee of al-Azhar and by Archbishop Michael Fitzgerald, president of the pontifical council. It noted that "two papers were presented during the meeting on the theme 'The rejection of generalizations and the importance of self-criticism': from the Christian side by Dr Youssef Kamal El-Hage, professor at Notre Dame University of Louaizeh, Lebanon, and from the Muslim side by Sheikh Fawzi al-Zafzaf." "The members of the committee considered and discussed the contents of the two papers. They noticed that there is agreement in the two religions, Christianity and Islam, in refusing generalization in judging people and that where sin is committed, whether by an individual or by a community, only that individual or community is to be held accountable and not others. Both religions advocate self-criticism at the individual and community level and the examination of conscience and asking pardon, a way of behaviour that may be an example to others." The Committee appealed "to all to avoid generalizations in judging people and to allocate responsibility only to those who have committed transgressions and not to blame innocent people for the misdeeds of others. It also appealed to all to practise examination of conscience and to admit guilt whenever applicable as a way of returning to right conduct." The declaration concluded by stating that "the aim of the Joint Committee is to universalize justice, peace and love among all." Source: VIS