Pope may help ties with Muslims

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Originally published in Courier Post

As a Muslim-American, I welcome Pope Francis to America.

Pope Francis’ attitude towards Islam — from praying in the Blue Mosque of Istanbul facing Mecca to his comment, “Authentic Islam and the proper reading of the Quran are opposed to every form of violence” — is refreshing and encouraging.

With rising Islamophobia in America and with GOP presidential candidates’ recent attempts to create further divide between Muslim and non-Muslim Americans, Pope Francis’ comments can help bridge gaps between Muslim and non-Muslim Americans, especially Roman Catholics.

I hope and pray that Pope Francis’ visit to America proves to be a blessed one, not only for Christians but for Muslims as well.

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