"I told the pope: 'I met you two years ago at the Vatican and asked you then to lead efforts to establish permanent dialogue with Muslims,'" Imam Hassan Al-Qazwini, the religious director of the Islamic Center of America said at an news conference after meeting the pope.
"I repeated that call today. Muslims and Catholics form over 50 percent of the world's population and we are in desperate need of dialogue," he said.
Muzammil Siddiqi, chairman of the Islamic Law Council of North America, said he had also called for more dialogue with the Church, and urged the pope to use his influence to "bring stability to Lebanon."
"He said he would do his best," Siddiqi said.
Benedict met with leaders of the Buddhist, Hindu, Jain, Jewish and Muslim faiths at an inter-religious meeting at the John Paul II Inter-cultural Center in Washington.
Benedict began a six-day visit to the United States on Tuesday. On Wednesday he became the first pope in 30 years to visit the White House, where he and President George W. Bush discussed the plight of Christians in war-torn Iraq, among other issues.
Last Mod: 18 Nisan 2008, 17:11