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Saudi king set to lead rare interfaith talks in Spain: The three-day conference of religious leaders will start July 16 in Madrid.

Date: July 8, 2008
Author: Caryle Murphy
QUOTE: Not only is Saudi Arabia the birthplace of Islam, but it also is the wellspring of an austere, exclusivist version of Sunni Islam. Sometimes called Wahhabism, it bans the open practice of other faiths in the kingdom and tends to reject inter-religious dialogue with non-Muslim "infidels." Ever since the kingdom experienced its own terrorist attacks in 2003-04, however, Abdullah and other officials have been stressing a more moderate, tolerant expression of their faith, sometimes over opposition from hard-liners in the religious establishment.

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