In a first for Saudi Arabian King Abdullah, the king will convene a conference in Madrid as part of a Saudi outreach to address interfaith tensions, a restoration of respect for religious values, and improving the image of Islam. The conference will span a 3-day meeting beginning on July 16th, which will include Muslim, Christian, and Jewish clerics, as well as representatives from Eastern religions. 200 invitees to the event include vocal critics of Islam, including the controversial US reverent Franklin Graham. Former vice president Al Gore and the Archbishop of Canterbury were also invited, but declined due to prior engagements. Spain was chosen for the site of the conference, due to the country’s rich history of religious diversity, and Islamic history.

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