In Copenhagen, Christian and Muslim leaders speak out against the war danger

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COPENHAGEN, Sept. 28, 2012 (ERINS) -- Three important religious leaders spoke out against the danger of war against Iran and/or Syria, and the global consequences it would bring, in response to EIR's questions at a press conference held by the Danish-Arab Dialogue Conference 2012 at The International Press Center today. The conference was organized by The Contact Group for Muslims and Christians, a joint initiative of The National Council of Churches in Denmark, and the Muslim Council of Denmark, in partnership with The Arab Group for Muslim-Chrisian Dialogue. ( After presenting their joint resolution, EIR asked the first question, and another question later on.

EIR: (After identification, including editor Lyndon LaRouche) EIR asked about what she termed "the elephant in the room," the serious threat of war against Syria and/or Iran, and said that we are afraid that that would lead to regional war, and to direct conflict with Russia and China, even with nuclear weapons. Will you, individually, or as a group, speak out against a war with Syria or Iran?

Bishop Boulos Matar (Maronite Archbishop of Beirut): I would like to distinguish between the big war among great powers -- the Russian, the American, the Chinese -- and the victims of the war -- the people of the Middle East, our countries, our minorities, even the majorities. I think that it doesn't make sense to encourage religions to be against each other. We have to make an appeal for the Shite, Sunni, Christian, the Druze, to accept each other, and find some peaceful solution. Maybe it's difficult, but it's very important to find some inclusivity among people, not to separate according to minorities. And we ask the big powers to help those people get a dialogue among themselves, and to find some solution for coexistence, and not to take advantage of our division to make great politics, cosmic politics, on the backs of the small people.

Dr. Mohammad Al-Sammak (General Secretary of the High Islamic Summit in Lebanon): That's a big question, I'll try to answer. In the game of nations, small countries, and small peoples, the best thing is to avoid being under the feet of this elephant in the room. But the most important thing to do for us, on such an occassion, is to block the way of manipulating religion in politics. And the Middle East has suffered a lot, by the process of misusing religion, not only by political people, but sometimes, by religious people, and the manipulation of religion in politics, is a major problem in the Middle East, as well as many other parts of the world, and within this conflict, threat of war, regional, as you can see, regional wars have no limits. You don't know where the flame will go, and that's why it is the interest of all people who care for peace, and who care for humanity, it to cooperate in blocking the misues of religion in this conflict.

Dean Anders Gadegaard (president of the Natioal Council of Churches in Denmark): That is precisely what we are trying to do with this conference, by proving that people of different faiths, Islam, and Christianity, can cooperate, and wish to cooperate, and to contribute constructively to the development of democracy, be it in the Middle East, be it in Denmark, and thereby removing the possibility of accusing religious people of being against democracy, or being an obstacle to democracy. That is the way we best can contribute, in the hope, then, that of course, that people themselves will have the opportunity to develop its democracy.

The Maronite Archbishop: I would like to give a little example with something we say in the Middle East. When there is a battle between the wind and the ocean, they are both paying the bill.

Later on, EIR said one of the ways that our magazine is trying to promote stability in the region is with an economic development program, spoke about our plan for southern europe, the mediterranean, and north africa, and asked if they also thought that cooperation between Europe and the Middle East for economic cooperation were important. Secondly, if they were also reaching out to Jewish communities, due the tensions in the ME.

The Maronite Archbishop said that we have to find a solution for the Israeli-Palestinian problem, or there will be problems for a long time, and we need help from the West to solve it.

The muslim leader from Lebanon said that that problem is not a religious one, but political, with the Israeli state. As for economics, they want any assistance to help build a better future. There is oil and other types of wealth in the region, but it is not being used for the benefit of the people. The catastrophic social disparity was one of the reasons for the uprising.

The fourth speaker at the press conference was the president of the Muslim Council of Denmark, formed after the Mohammad cartoon crisis.

The LPAC press release about the Congressman Walter Jones press conference, and a notice of Helga Zepp-LaRouche's webast, were distributed.