Pope urges Muslims and Christians to Reject War
Abu Dhabi: Pope Francis denounced the “logic of armed power” in Yemen, Syria and other Middle East wars on a landmark visit to the Arabian Peninsula, telling Christians and Muslims that conflicts brought nothing but misery and death.
Pope Francis, the first pontiff to set foot on the peninsula, was speaking during a trip to the United Arab Emirates, which is playing a leading role in Yemen’s conflict as part of an Arab military coalition. “War cannot create anything but misery, weapons bring nothing but death,” he said in a speech after meeting UAE leaders in the capital Abu Dhabi. “Its fateful consequences are before our eyes. I am thinking in particular of Yemen, Syria, Iraq and Libya,” he said at an inter-religious meeting at the United Arab Emirates Founder’s Memorial. “Let us commit ourselves against the logic of armed power,” he said in his first public address on the trip after meeting with Sheikh Ahmad al-Tayeb, the Grand Imam of Egypt’s Al-Azhar Mosque who called on Muslims in the Middle East to embrace Christians.
The Grand Imam, the most senior Muslim figure taking part in the visit, called on Muslims in the Middle East to “embrace” local Christian communities, describing them as part of the nation and not a minority.
“You are citizens with full rights and responsibilities,” said Sheikh Tayeb. He also called on Muslims in the West to integrate in their host nations and respect local laws. Sheikh Tayeb and the Pope signed a document of “human fraternity” which carried a message against religious extremism.
Earlier the pope was welcomed to the sprawling presidential palace for private talks with Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammad bin Khalifa bin Zayed Al-Nahyan and other UAE leaders.
(Extracted from http://www.dailystar.com.lb) n