Saudi king pushes inter-faith dialogue

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Mecca, Jun. 6, 2008 ( - Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah described himself as "a voice for coexistence and dialogue" during a conference of Islamic legal scholars in Mecca this week.

King Abdullah spoke to the 500 ulemas, or arbiters of shari'a law, about the proposal he had unveiled in March for dialogue among the leaders of the world's great monotheistic faiths. "The common values of the three monotheistic religions reject treason, crime, and terrorism," he observed.

Former Iranian President Ali Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani was among the participants in the 3-day meeting at Mecca. His attendance in itself was a sign of unusual exchange among opposing Muslim sects. While King Abdullah is a Sunni, Rafsanjani is Shiite.

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