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January 11, 2002

Prime Minister Blair hosting reception for interfaith leaders

Prime Minister Tony Blair is hosting a reception for interfaith leaders
on January 17, the second such meeting since the events of September 11, The Muslim News has exclusively learnt.
The reception comes as the Archbishop of Canterbury Dr. George Carey is
holding a major international seminar on the same day at Lambeth Palace, at
which up to thirty leading Muslim and Christian scholars and theologians
from Britain and overseas have been invited.
“We hope to develop and share new insights and understanding about the
history and development of our two great faiths and their place in the
modern world,” Dr. Carey said
His office said that the initiative followed extensive discussion between the Archbishop and the Prime Minister, who had given strong support for the seminar.
Blair’s involvement in the interfaith meeting at international level
comes as the Foreign Office is sponsoring a series of goodwill visits by
British Muslim leaders to Islamic countries aimed at building greater
understanding and dialogue between the West and Islam.
The first visit by senior Muslim political, to Egypt and Saudi Arabia,
starts Saturday, but it has caused offence to the Liberal Democrats because
of the Party’s exclusion. The Muslim News has learnt that several members
have written to Lib Dem Leader Charles Kennedy complaining why Lib Dems were not represented in the mission.
The initiatives follow Blair’s campaign to win Muslim support for the
US-led war against terrorism and coincide with the first Muslim leader to be invited to a US Embassy in London also on January 17.

The following, who are attending the two day interfaith conference, will be attending the PM's reception including General Secretary of Muslim Council of Britain, Yousuf Bhailok:

PARTICIPANTS of the Interfaith Conference:

Mr Raficq Abdulla, Kingston University, UK
Professor Leila Ahmed, Harvard University
Dr Seyed Amir Akrami, Organisation for Islamic Culture and Communication,
Tehran, Iran
Dr Rabiatu Ammah, University of Ghana
His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of Cilicia, Lebanon
Professor Mehmet Aydin, University of Izmir, Turkey
Dr Zaki Badawi, The Muslim College, London
The Revd Professor Michael Banner, King's College, London
Dr Mustafa Ceric, Grand Mufti of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Professor Vincent Cornell, University of Arkansas
The Rt Revd Kenneth Cragg, Oxford
Prof Jacques Dupuis SJ, The Gregorian University, Rome
Dr Mohamed El-Awa, Cairo University
Mrs Heba Raouf Ezzat, Cairo University
The Rt Revd Michael Fitzgerald, the Pontifical Council for Inter-Religious
Dialogue, the Vatican
Professor David Ford, Cambridge University
Professor Yvonne Haddad, Georgetown University
The Rt Revd Josiah Idowu-Fearon, Bishop of Kaduna, Nigeria
The Revd Dr Michael Ipgrave, Adviser on Inter Faith Relations to the
Archbishops Council, the Church of England
Dr Asma Jahangir, Advocate, Supreme Court of Pakistan
Mr Hamid Kasiri, University of Innsbruck, Austria
Professor David Kerr, Edinburgh University
Professor Tarif Khalidi, Cambridge University
Dr Philip Lewis, University of Bradford
Professor Tarek Mitri, World Council of Churches, Geneva
Mr Sohail Nakhooda, Amman, Jordan
Professor Azeem Nanji, Institute of Ismaili Studies, London
The Rt Revd Dr Michael Nazir Ali, Bishop of Rochester
Professor Jorgen Nielsen, Birmingham University
Dr Farhan Nizami, Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies
Professor Tariq Ramadan, College of Geneva & University of Fribourg
Dr Nasim Hassan Shah, Former Chief-Justice of Pakistan
Dr Mona Siddiqui, Glasgow University
The Most Revd Henri Teissier, Archbishop of Algiers
The Revd Dr David Thomas, Birmingham University
Professor Christian Troll SJ, Berlin
Professor Frances Young, Birmingham University


Professor Gillian Stamp, The Brunel Institute of Organisation and Social


John Battle, MP
Mr Francis Campbell, Prime Minister's Private Secretary
Mr William Chapman, Prime Minister's Secretary for Appointments
Mrs Catherine Colvin, Ambassador-designate to the Holy See
Mr Fraser Wheeler, Policy Planning Staff, Foreign and Commonwealth Office

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