Saudi King Calls for Religious Tolerance, Will Attend UN Interfaith Dialogue

October 26, 2008

Author: Donna Abu-Nasr

Source: The Star Tribune

Wire Service: AP

The ruler of conservative Saudi Arabia said he plans to attend a meeting at the United Nations next month to discuss his initiative to promote interfaith dialogue, the official Saudi Press Agency reported.

In remarks carried by the agency late Saturday, King Abdullah, whose country bans non-Muslims from openly practicing their religion, called for religious tolerance and said such dialogue is the duty of every human being. The king also urged fellow Muslims to reach out to non-Muslims as a way to show that Islam is not a violent religion.

"I will go to America for the dialogue of followers of religions," the king said at a meeting with Information Minister Ayad Madani and newspaper editors. "The dialogue comes a[t] [a] time when the world is criticizing Islam."