As when the Second Vatican Council attempted to reform Catholicism, reforming Islam entails overcoming the stagnation of a religious and cultural tradition whose relationship with modernity and the West is ultimately based on fear or a narrative of victimhood, both of which are states of mind that induce conflict. Mohammad al-Sammak, a Lebanese Muslim intellectual and a close advisor to his country’s gran mufti (the main sponsor of Islamic-Christian dialogue), is the first to have put the matter in such explicit terms in recent years (perhaps as a result of the innovative impulse provided by Pope Francis’ pontificate), with clear references to John XXIII, the pope that summoned Vatican II. 

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