Washington, D.C., September 23, 2015 -- American Muslims are delighted to welcome Pope Francis on his first visit to the United States.
We have congratulated Pope Francis on the day he was ordained as the Pope, and had prayed he would herald a new beginning, building a world of understanding. As people of faith we welcomed him then and have been admiring him ever since March 13, 2013.
He is a genuine human being, and is a blessing to humanity.
Two thousand years ago, a man from Nazareth was bent on mitigating conflicts and building cohesive societies. He taught us to separate the sin from the sinner, and made it work by embracing sinners of the time; lepers and the prostitutes. Indeed, Pope Francis is following that man's challenge of embracing the whole humanity.
Fourteen hundred years ago, there was another man from Mecca who was called a mercy to mankind. His acts and teachings brought hope and relief to women, children, oppressed, poor, and the neglected. Indeed, Pope Francis is emulating that man's model and embracing his ideals.
Pope Francis is an inspiration, and his embrace is the whole universe beyond political and religious lines. He is a practitioner of pluralism espoused by Jesus Christ and Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), i.e., respecting the otherness of others and accepting the God-given uniqueness of each one of his creation. No one falls out of the ambit of his love, none at all.
There are a few deeply rooted conflicts among the Muslim-Christian, Jewish-Christian, Jewish-Muslim and Abrahimic-Hindu groups, some of them are irreconcilable, but not completely out of the realm of solutions. They flare up now and then in difficult expressions. We believe Pope Francis will work on mitigating them.
During his speech in June this year, a smiling Pope Francis was quoted telling the Vatican's guests that the Koran, and the spiritual teachings contained therein are just as valid as the Holy Bible. Indeed the essence of all faiths is accountability of one's actions and how one cares for his neighbor.
Pope Francis is a symbol of humility and epitomizes what a religious person ought to be, caring, forgiving and loving all of God's creation.
America Together Foundation is about bringing Americans Together for a peaceful, safe and secure America. Foundation for Pluralism is a part of America Together Foundation.
Dr. Mike Ghouse is the founder and president of the Center for Pluralism. He is a speaker, thinker, author, community consultant, pluralist, activist, newsmaker, and an interfaith wedding officiant. Mike is deeply committed to Free speech, Human (more...)