Iraqi President Jalal Talabini (file photo) (official site)
Vienna, 15 November (RFE/RL) -- The presidents of Afghanistan and Iraq today condemned Islamic extremists for practicing and promoting "the politics of violence," saying that such extremism is harming the perception of Islam.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Iraqi President Jalal Talabani made their remarks on the second day of an international conference called "Islam In A Pluralistic World" being held in Vienna.
Talabani said Islam is facing "disfigurement" by what he said are small groups of radicals who have "lost" the meaning of their religion. He described such extremists as "un-Islamic," calling them "deceivers" belonging to "suicide cults" that operate with an ideology opposed to authentic Islamic values.
Karzai said "terrorists" who use the name of Islam to justify acts which lead to human suffering are "unworthy to be called 'human.'"
The three-day conference, hosted by the Austrian Foreign Ministry, brings together Islamic and other religious scholars, politicians, and activists to discuss the role of Islam in the modern world.
A thematic webpage devoted to issues of religious tolerance in RFE/RL's broadcast region and around the globe.