As reported by Catholic Herald
Pope Francis embraced the grand imam of Al-Azhar, the Sunni Muslim centre of learning, five years after Sheik Ahmed el-Tayyib suspended dialogue with the Holy See.
As Sheik Ahmed el-Tayyib arrived for his audience in the Apostolic Palace, Francis said that the fact that they were meeting at all was significant.
“The meeting is the message,” Francis told the imam.
The meeting came five years after the Cairo-based Al-Azhar froze talks with the Vatican to protest comments by then-Pope Benedict XVI.
The Vatican said the meeting held a “great significance” for Catholic-Muslim dialogue. In a statement, spokesman Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi said Francis and el-Tayyib discussed the need for “authorities and the faithful of the world’s great religions to show a common commitment to peace in the world.”
They also discussed the rejection of violence and extremism, and the plight of Christians “in the context of conflicts and tensions in the Mideast and their protection,” the statement said.
Did you get that? After a 5 year abandonment of discussions, Pope Francis seems to not only have picked up where they left but taken it to even higher achievements.
But what is critical for Christians is that their discussion was based on rejection of violence and extremism. There is a difference between violent extremists and saying violence and extremism. The first would have meant that they discussed how to stop ISIS for instance.
But when they put these words apart, for one, it exonerates Islam on the crimes she has committed for years including the senseless murders in Syria currently on going. Just the fact that the majority of Muslims are not violent does not take away the role of Islam as a religion in violent extremists. It is no secret that the inspiration for terrorism is the conquer mentality hard-coded by Mohammed on every tenet of the Islamic faith.
This also agrees with the message Obama has been passing. That Islam is not violent and as such, he refused to associate ISIS terrorists with Islam.
But the bigger danger after separating the two words means, someone like me will very soon be termed a terrorist, and it would not matter if I am violent or not (of course am not), but will be grouped in the same category as a suicide bomber.
Read the words again, they discussed rejection of violence AND extremism.Not violent extremism. What is extremism? Belief in and support for ideas that are very far from what most people consider correct or reasonable.
The definition has nothing to do with right or wrong but majority. So if the majority is going to church on Sunday and accepts that as correct and reasonable, believing that the Sabbath of God is Saturday is being an extremist. If the world accepts the Pope as a religious leader yet we recognize him as the puppet of Satan about to cause great havoc to the world, well, we are extremists.