Pope Francis gave an interview to the United Arab Emirates newspaper, Al-Ittihad. It is the first interview with a Middle Eastern media and the first after his discharge from the hospital in June.
When asked about the incident in Sweden, where a young person from Iraq burned the Koran in front of a mosque in Stockholm, the Pope replied that allowing such actions is unacceptable and condemnable.
He argued that every holy book must be respected and stated that freedom of expression cannot be used as an excuse to disrespect others. His response is in line with what the European Union and the Swedish Christian Council have said on the matter.
In the interview, Pope Francis also spoke of the fruits of the 'Document on Human Fraternity' that he signed in 2019 with the Sunni leader, the Grand Imam of Al-Azar. He called it a roadmap for anyone who chooses peace in a world torn by violence, war, hatred and terrorism. This is something he also commented on during his visit to Abu Dhabi.
Actively contribute to 'demilitarizing' man's heart. War only creates misery. Before our eyes are its disastrous consequences. I am thinking particularly of Yemen, Syria, Iraq and Libya.
The Pope defined human fraternity as the antidote the world needs to cure itself of the poison produced by conflicts.