Wire Service: Reuters
On April 3, 2005 Reuters reported, "For centuries, Catholic-Muslim relations were dominated by distrust and resentment born of painful memories of a history of mutual repression. But Pope John Paul spearheaded a campaign in the past two decades that helped turn conflict into cooperation between the 1.1 billion-strong Catholic Church and the world's 1.2 billion Muslims. For some, the Pope's efforts helped avert a 'clash of civilisations' that many feared would erupt after the September 11, 2001, attacks by Muslim militants on the United States. His outspoken opposition to the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 was particularly appreciated in the Islamic world. Now, Muslims will be watching closely to see if the man who succeeds Pope John Paul as the leader of the world's Catholics will continue to strengthen interfaith dialogue."