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.