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Rome Reports

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Pope's meeting with the World Muslim League

The pope met with the leader of the main Islamic NGO, the World Muslim League. This Mecca-based organization rejects violence and terrorism, and promotes dialogue. It also works in the apologetic defense of Islam and finances some Muslim communities.

After the meeting with Muhammad al-Issa, Pope Francis greeted the rest of the delegation.

As a gift, the Secretary General gave him this sculpture, a symbol of Islamic architecture and a desire for dialogue.

The pope gave him a pen that imitates the columns of St. Peter's Baldachin. He said he hopes Muhammad al-Issa will remember this meeting when he writes messages of peace.

According to the Saudi press, al-Issa appreciated the pope's aversion toward those who identified Islam with extremism or terrorism.

Also, according to a Vatican press release, in the meetings at the Vatican, “it was reiterated that situations exist where freedom of conscience and of religion are not entirely respected and protected.” Thus supplying “an urgent need to remedy this by renewing 'religious discourse' and reviewing school books.”