Originally published in Montgomery News
As a Muslim American, I am delighted with the election of a new pope and want to give to him and all Catholics worldwide my heartfelt congratulations.
I hope Pope Francis is able to build a strong bridge with the Muslim world and promote greater peace and tolerance. In fact, this is what has been done by the Khalifa of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Mirza Masroor Ahmed. In October 2011, our Khalifa wrote a letter to Pope Benedict XVI, calling for peace, love and religious harmony in the world. He clearly stated, “If any church or other place of worship stands in need of protection, they will find us standing shoulder to shoulder with them.”
Once again, I want to give my best wishes to Pope Francis and his followers. May God continue to guide them on the straight path.