DemocratandChronicle.com, 5/6/03: In a historic effort to help educate the community about their religions—and to show they have more in common than their differences—local Catholic and Muslim leaders on Monday signed “An Agreement of Understanding and Cooperation.”
“There are lots of innocent misunderstandings on both sides,” said Patrick O’Connor of Henrietta, who helped construct the agreement with others over the past six months. He said Catholics and Muslims have in common a sense of community responsibility, respect for life and the strength of their faith.
“It’s a good step to leave a good future for the next generation,” said Utku Kanik of Irondequoit, president of the Turkish Society of Rochester. “We hope to leave a better place for them. It will create more tolerance and more dialogue and understanding.”
“We have a mutual understanding and educate each other,” said Ances Masood, a native of Pakistan. “That’s the one thing that brings people closer together is the understanding.”
“Christians, Muslims and Jews, we are very close to each other. If we agree to leave our differences aside, we are one religion. All religion s stand for peace,” said Salahuddin Malik, a professor of history at the State University College at Brockport. “That makes it all the more reason we must understand each other.”
The Catholic diocese has signed similar agreements with local Jewish and Episcopal leaders.