✣ Papal visit to Egypt hailed as a triumph
Pope Francis made what has been widely seen as a successful visit to Egypt on April 28 and 29.
His meeting with Al-Azhar Grand Imam Sheikh Ahmed el-Tayeb was reported with a headline in the Al-Masry Al-Youm newspaper reading “We reject violence under the name of God”.
At the Church of Ss Peter and Paul in Cairo, the Pope touched a wall stained by the blood of murdered Copts, and media reported that Francis was “visibly moved”.
What Middle Eastern media said
Halim Shebaya, a Beirut-based analyst writing for Al-Jazeera, praised Pope Francis as “a strong voice against Islamophobia”, pointing out that he has repeatedly refused to link Islam to terrorism. As a result, Shebaya wrote, “he brings with him the best of Christianity and a Muslim-friendly demeanour, defying images of the Christian ‘other’ or the Crusader or the proselytising missionary”. Shebaya also praised Francis for raising the abuse of minorities’ rights in Muslim-majority countries.
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