In reality, Islam is unique among world religions in having a developed doctrine, theology and legal system mandating warfare against unbelievers. Unless and until that is confronted, Muslims will continue to commit acts of violence against non-Muslims, including Christians. The Pope is betraying the Christians of the Middle East and the world, and all the victims of jihad violence, by repeating palpable falsehoods about the motivating ideology of attacks upon them, instead of confronting that ideology and calling upon Muslims to renounce and reform Islam’s doctrines of violence. Pope Francis is not only disastrously wrongheaded about an obvious fact that is reinforced by every day’s headlines, but he is also deceiving and misleading his people about a matter of utmost importance, and keeping them ignorant and complacent about a growing and advancing threat.
Has anyone thanked Pope Francis for his defense of Christianity? Has he offered any? Is Ahmed al-Tayeb really the kind of person from whom Pope Francis wants to hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant”?
“Leave them; they are blind guides. And if a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit.” (Matthew 15:14)
ROME – In the wake of Pope Francis’s whirlwind visit to Egypt, the Vatican and the prestigious Muslim al-Azhar University have held another meeting, focusing on the landmark speeches given during the pope’s visit.
The meeting, which took place July 3 at the apostolic nunciature in Egypt, was arranged by the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue and the al-Azhar Center for Dialogue (CAD).
It fell two months after Pope Francis’s April 28-29 visit to Cairo, the result of a recent thawing in relations between the Vatican and the university, which had been strained since 2011.
According to a July 4 Vatican communique, the meeting focused primarily on the speeches of both Pope Francis and the Grand Imam of al-Azhar, Ahmed Muhammad al-Tayyib, during the pope’s visit.
Specifically, “the joint commitment to continue shared reflections, aimed at promoting a fruitful and effective interreligious dialogue was expressed, focusing in particular on the promotion of peace and the building of a more just world.”
Hailed as one of the most important speeches he’s given so far in his time as Bishop of Rome, the pope’s opening address to the International Conference on Peace, his first speech of the trip, issued harsh condemnation of religiously-motivated violence and a strong call for its rejection in the global sphere.
In the April 28 address, Francis said that “peace alone is holy and no act of violence can be perpetrated in the name of God, for it would profane his Name.
“Together, in the land where heaven and earth meet, this land of covenants between peoples and believers, let us say once more a firm and clear ‘No!’ to every form of violence, vengeance and hatred carried out in the name of religion or in the name of God,” he said.
Going on, the pope said we have “an obligation to denounce violations of human dignity and human rights, to expose attempts to justify every form of hatred in the name of religion, and to condemn these attempts as idolatrous caricatures of God.”
Violence and faith, belief and hatred, are incompatible, he said, and asked participants to join him in this affirmation: “together let us declare the sacredness of every human life against every form of violence, whether physical, social, educational or psychological,” he said, as the auditorium erupted in thunderous applause.
Likewise, al-Tayyib, who in his role as Grand Imam of al-Azhar is widely considered to be the highest authority in the 1.5-billion strong Sunni Muslim world, said in his speech that humanity ought to “stress the value of peace, justice, equality and human rights regardless of religion, color, race, or language.
“We need to liberate the image of religions from false concepts, misunderstandings, malpractices, and false religiosity attached to them. These evils bestir conflicts, spread hate, and instigate violence,” he said, adding that “we should not hold religion accountable for the crimes of any small group of followers.”
He thanked the pope for his “defense of Islam against the accusation of violence and terrorism,” and voiced his commitment to working together to establish peaceful coexistence and strengthen dialogue….