Prominent Turkish Muslim Figures Welcome Pope’s Visit

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Two prominent Muslim religious figures in Turkey have welcomed the upcoming visit of Pope Francis to their country, saying they hoped it could shed light on the “peace” of Islam and help change bad images associated with that religion.

At Istanbul’s famed Sultan Ahmed Mosque – often referred to as the Blue Mosque because of the turquoise tiles that adorn the early 17th-century structure – Ishak Kizilaslan said Muslims welcomed “everyone coming to us in a good way”.

Pope Francis’ scheduled visit to the mosque is important because the Pope will learn from mixing with those worshipping inside that “Islam is always peace,” Kizilaslan, the mosque’s head imam, or Muslim preacher, told Catholic News Service in a telephone interview last week.

“I will tell him … that Islam is peace, the word means peace and submission,” Kizilaslan said of what he plans to relay to Pope Francis if he gets the chance during the pontiff’s November 29 private stop at the mosque.

“People’s eyes all over the world are going to be here, so (Pope Francis) is an important figure to make (Islam) more understandable … to non-Muslims,” the majority of whom, Kizilaslan said, did not “understand Islam in the right way”.

He accused Western media of misrepresenting Islam, by linking it with atrocities committed at the hands of groups like the Islamic State group in Iraq, Syria and elsewhere…Read More

Source and Original Content by Catholic Herald

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