Iranian religious leader thanks Pope for comments on Islam

2016-08-22 Vatican Radio

A senior Iranian religious scholar has written to Pope Francis, thanking him for his recent remarks that Islam is not equal to terrorism.  In his letter, posted on his official website on Sunday, Grand Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi of Qom also stressed that it is necessary for religious leaders to adopt clear stances when it comes to accusing religions of violence.  “I am really delighted to have heard your comments during your last trip to Poland in which you stated “Islam is not equal to terrorism” and further dismissed the association of violence and harshness with any and all divinely-sent religions,” Ayatollah Shirazi wrote.  “Your wise and logical stance regarding Islam in disassociating the religion from the inhumane actions and atrocities of the Takfiri groups such as Daesh is truly admirable,” he said. 

Travelling back to Rome on July 31 from a pastoral visit to Poland, Pope Francis had made the comment at an in-flight press conference, when asked by a journalist to comment on the 84-year old French priest Fr. Jacques Hamel who was slain while celebrating Mass on July 26 by two Islamic State terrorists.

Ayatollah Shirazi agreed with Pope Francis saying, “such barbaric acts have nothing to do with divinely-sent religions and their various schools of thought.” “Rather, they originate from the inferior materialistic objectives of some corrupt superpowers who seek nothing but to obtain more illegitimate wealth,” he said.  Ayatollah Shirazi prayed for the success of the Pope “in spreading kindness, peace and spirituality in the world.”

(from Vatican Radio)