April 5, 2005

Statement regarding the legacy of Pope John Paul II

Many Muslim organizations around the United States of America and the world are deeply saddened by the passing of His Holiness Pope. John Paul II. He was a man whose actions and deeds spoke of a true peacemaker, a vigorous and energetic man who touched the hearts of billions transcending race, religion, and country. The world and Islam in particular, have lost a great friend in Pope John Paul II.

The Holy Father lived his life as an example to world leaders. He spoke powerfully of love and worked tirelessly for peace. He built bridges between religious communities and promoted religious freedom and tolerance. He was a determined advocate of human rights. He was the hero for many people and will continue to be a role model for clergy and politicians alike. His passion for his ministry, compassion for the poor and his respect for human life made him a beacon of light and a source of hope not only for Catholics but for all people including Muslims.  

Many politicians and leaders who seek temporary solutions to transient ideas should study this man's life, mission, and works. John Paulís message of world freedom and peace is his legacy to all of us. He will be remembered for centuries as a humble man who sought a better way for the entire world to live.

His absolute love of his Christian values and the teachings of Jesus shaped his great thinking leading him to become a man of peace, love and compassion. We shared with his holiness those values as well.

Muslims feel the pain of his loss and mourn his death for many reasons amongst which:

1.     Muslims shared with him his constant voice for reconciliation and loud moral call for tolerance and mutual understanding among people of all faiths.

2.     His Holiness showed a clear concern for ethnic and religious cleansing in both Bosnian and Kosovo.

3.     He called for a peaceful resolution to the Arab Israeli conflict.

4.     Pope John Paul II was the first top leader of the Catholic Church to set his foot inside a mosque.

5.     His apology for the sins committed against Muslims during the Crusades and the Inquisition opened the door for a new positive and peaceful relationship between both communities.

6.     He made it possible for Catholics and Muslims to walk the walk of peace together from now on.

7.     He emphasized the shared values of Catholics and Muslims not their differences.

Let me end by stating that though the world will miss him. Pope John Paul II's message of international peace and interfaith reconciliation is one that will reverberate for decades to come as his legacy and gift to all peoples. Hence, we would like to offer our sincere condolences on the death of Pope John Paul II to members of the Roman Catholic Church and to all those who seek a more peaceful world.

May His exemplary legacy live on eternally,

May his message of love, peace, and tolerance help guide those in public service.



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