Paola Bernardini (Pontifical U. St. Thomas Aquinas, Rome) has posted Religious Liberty: A Common Challenge for Catholic-Muslim Dialogue. The abstract follows.
Comparing the struggles of the Church on the subject of religious liberty with those in course of progress within Islam may be conducive to greater interreligious understanding. It is not by chance that Muslim and Christian scholars have adopted this approach on more than one occasion. Even Pope Benedict XVI, speaking to the Roman Curia at the end of 2006, seemed to implicitly acknowledge this fact when he stated that “the Muslim world today finds itself facing an extremely urgent task . . . very similar to the one . . . imposed upon Christians beginning in the age of the Enlightenment”: namely the task of recognizing the freedom of faith and finding appropriate solutions in this regard. Starting from this presumption, the present paper will be divided mainly into two parts. Part I will briefly illustrate the positions of the Church before and after the Second Vatican Council. Part II will delve into the positions of some modern Islamic Organizations, countries, and scholars on the civil right to religious freedom.