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Leaders From Muslim-Dominated Countries Say Give Hamas A Chance --> Afghan President Karzai said the international community should respect the election results (file photo) (epa) 26 January 2006 -- Senior officials of Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq are standing behind the Palestinian election results and say Hamas should be given a chance to reform.

Speaking at an international conference in Switzerland, Afghan President Hamid Karzai said that if the people of Palestine have expressed their will by voting for Hamas, the international community should give them a chance.

Hajim Alhasani, the head of the Iraqi National Assembly, was quoted today as saying the result should be accepted. He said that isolation is bad, and groups like Hamas should be brought in to help democracy.

Pervez Musharraf, Pakistan's leader, expressed optimism that Hamas would change if given the opportunity. He said it was much harder to agitate when a group is inside the government.

Hamas -- considered a terrorist group by the European Union and the United States -- won a stunning victory in elections yesterday.


Islam In A Pluralistic World

A Muslim woman (left) watches a Christian procession in Madrid in March (AFP)


CONFERENCE ON ISLAM: A major international conference on Islam concluded in Vienna in November 2005 with strong appeals from prominent Muslim leaders to recognize international terrorism as simply "terrorism." Political figures from Islamic countries, including the presidents of Iraq and Afghanistan, argued that it should never be labeled "Islamic" or "Muslim" terrorism because Islam is based on peace, dialogue, and tolerance. "Salaam" -- meaning "peace" -- was the key word of the three-day conference, titled "ISLAM IN A PLURALISTIC WORLD."
Iraqi President Jalal Talibani and Afghan President Hamid Karzai used the word in their remarks to emphasize the peaceful nature of Islam. Other speakers quoted passages from the Koran to the effect that all men and women, regardless of faith, are creatures of God and should live in peace with each other without discrimination...(more)


Listen to Afghan President HAMID KARZAI's complete address to the Vienna conference (in English):
Real Audio Windows Media


Listen to UN special envoy LAKHDAR BRAHIMI's complete address to the Vienna conference (in English):
Real Audio Windows Media

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