The president of the Islamic Affairs Council of Maryland offered high praise for Pope Francis, saying the Catholic leader “resonates with the Muslim world,” much like the saint from whom he takes his name.
"From my perspective, Pope Francis is really doing a wonderful job in terms of outreach, in terms of contributing to world peace, in terms of contributing to stopping wars and conflicts, praying for better understanding," said Imam Mohamad Bashar Arafat in an interview with Catholic News Service.
Arafat made the comments after visiting the Vatican in early October as part of a trip arranged by the U.S. State Department. Arafat pointed to a number of examples, including the pope’s recent call for the world to pray and fast in September in advance of what were then-expected U.S. military strikes against Syria.
"St. Francis resonates with the Muslim world," Arafat said, noting that in 1219, Francis of Assisi was the first Catholic leader credited with holding a dialogue with a MuslimRead More »from Muslim leader says Pope Francis ‘resonates with the Muslim world’