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Egypt's Mubarak Warns Against Hasty Reforms

President Hosni Mubarak speaking in Sharm el-Sheikh on May 20 (epa) May 20, 2006 -- Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak today warned that rushing democratic reforms in the Middle East could lead to "chaos."

Mubarak made his remarks at the World Economic Forum in the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh. He said regional reforms must be implemented with a "gradual prudent approach" that ensures sustainability. He said hastening reforms would only ruin the process.

Some 1,200 business and political leaders from across the Middle East are attending the forum. The three-day event, which opened today, is focusing on reforms and the issue of youth employment.

Iran is not attending. Organizers say they did not want political tensions from an Iranian presence to overshadow the meeting.

(compiled from agency reports)

Islam In A Pluralistic World

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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