Friday, November 28, 2014

Pope Against ISIS

From USA Today:
"Pope urges more Muslim opposition to IS in Turkey"

Pope Francis urged Muslim leaders to condemn the "barbaric violence" being committed in Islam's name against religious minorities in Iraq and Syria as he arrived in neighboring Turkey Friday for a delicate visit aimed at improving interfaith ties. Francis sought to offer a balanced message as he met with Turkish political and religious officials at the start of his second trip to the Middle East this year. He reaffirmed that military force was justified to halt the Islamic State group's advance, and called for greater dialogue between Christians, Muslims and people of all faiths to end fundamentalism. "As religious leaders, we are obliged to denounce all violations against human dignity and human rights," Francis told Mehmet Gormez, Turkey's top cleric and other religious officials gathered at the government-run Religious Affairs Directorate. "As such, any violence which seeks religious justification warrants the strongest condemnation because the omnipotent is the God of life and peace." Francis condemned the "barbaric violence" by IS against Christians, Yazidis and other religious minorities and the destruction of their places of worship. The Vatican has voiced particular concern about the expulsion of Christians from communities that have had a Christian presence for 2,000 years and has demanded that they be allowed to return home in safety once the conflict settles.
Francis' three-day visit to the Muslim nation comes at a sensitive moment for Turkey, as it struggles to cope with 1.6 million refugees fleeing the IS advance in Syria and weighs how to respond to U.S. calls to get more engaged with the international coalition fighting the extremists. Turkey has accused the group of casting a shadow over Islam and has said Muslim countries have a duty to stand up against its radical views. But Turkey is still negotiating with the United States over helping the coalition, pressing for a safe haven and a no-fly zone along the Syrian border with Turkey and demanding the coalition go after Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime. Turkey has long been accused of turning a blind eye to IS fighters entering Syria from its territory in the hope that it would hasten Assad's downfall — charges it denies. Erdogan said he hoped Francis' visit would strengthen ties between Christians and Muslims. But the pope's visit was met largely with indifference among Turkey's people, 99 percent of whom are Muslim. Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi said it was clear Francis "was not exactly in his milieu" in carrying out all the protocol required of him by his Turkish hosts, paying his respects at the mausoleum, inspecting the turquoise-uniformed honor guard and being received at Erdogan's enormous and controversial $620 million new palace, which environmentalists and architects have opposed. Lombardi said it was a more excessive protocol than Francis was used to, but that he did it out of respect for his hosts.


^ It's great to see the Pope voicing his concern against ISIS and all the violence they commit. The threat of ISIS is real and hasn't gone away even though its not mentioned much on the news anymore. ^


http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2014/11/28/pope-francis-muslims-turkey-trip/19613279/

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