Muslim scholars in Saudi Arabia urge dialogue with Christianity, Judaism

Muslim scholars meeting in Saudi Arabia wrapped up a three-day conference Friday, calling for easing tensions within Islam and boosting dialogue with Christians and Jews. The conference in the holy city of Mecca was designed to reconcile brewing discontent between Islam's two main branches, Sunni and Shi'ite, before the kingdom launches a landmark initiative for talks with adherents of other monotheistic faiths. In a statement, scholars stressed the need for dialogue with other religions to give a "correct picture of Islam" and to reach "out to other sects of Islam, which will lead to uniting the nation." They also called for "solving the problems and disagreements that might take place among Muslims and other (non-Muslims) ... and to achieve an understanding among civilizations and human cultures," according to the statement, which was carried by the official Saudi Press Agency.