Head of Religious Authority responds to Pope Francis
by Daily Sabah
ISTANBULSep 02, 2014 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Daily Sabah
Sep 02, 2014 12:00 am
Mehmet Görmez, the head of Turkey's Directorate of Religious Affairs has harshly responded to the Pope Francis for not contributing enough to reconciliation between different religions and stated peace cannot be established through football games or disingenuous actions.
Speaking at a press conference, Görmez highlighted the fact that the Islamic world is going through an extremely difficult period of time with millions of Muslims under oppression, while numerous organizations such as the self-proclaimed Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) and others act in contradiction to the nature of the religion. He touched upon the fact that around 34 mosques in Germany alone have been attacked since 2013 while Islamophobia throughout the world is on the rise while he noted that Muslims are intentionally being targeted for their religion and are being labeled as a security threat.
Expressing that Muslims and Islamic institutions fail to cope with the situation, Görmez stated that the Vatican and all other religious authorities should focus on the issue. "This problem cannot be resolved through the organization of interfaith football games or washing people's feet" said Görmez, who expressed that such actions are very ineffective even though they may have good intentions behind. He emphasized the fact that it is necessary to take a stance against othering Muslims and hostile attitudes towards them and take serious action to stop such marginalization by all religious authorities.
Pope Francis has previously washed the feet of 12 prisoners from different religions and ethnicities including a Muslim girl. Likewise, he has initiated the Interfaith Peace Match in efforts to promote interfaith dialogue.