King Abdullah said that his holiness dedicated his life and vocation calling for the solidarity among rich and poor nations and for peace throughout the world and exerted his efforts to defend human rights and human dignity.
“By his death, we lose an impressive figure that stood by the Arab issues especially the Palestinian issue. He also had positive stands by the standards and values of humanity that the Islam calls for,” King added. [more]
In the Arab and the Muslim world, the Pope has been remembered above all for his support for the rights of Palestinians. His opposition to the war in Iraq also won him widespread support.
But Pope John Paul is also praised for his work to promote dialogue between the different faiths. He was the first Pope to pay an official visit to a mosque. In the year 2000, the Pope entered a mosque in the Syrian capital, Damascus, which also contains the tomb of John the Baptist, the Christian saint.
A leading cleric in Malaysia said he hoped Pope John Paul’s successor would follow in his footsteps to increase understanding between Muslims and Christians. [source]
CAIRO, April 3, 2005 (IslamOnline.net & News Agencies) Ã¢?? Muslim scholars and leaders from the four corners of the world where united Sunday, April 3, in praising late Pope John Paul IIÃ¢??s tireless efforts to build bridges of confidence between the Catholic Church and Islam.
Prominent Muslim scholar Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi hailed the deceased pontiff as a man who served his faith with utmost sincerity.
The Dublin-based International Association of Muslim Scholars (IAMS), of which Qaradawi is chairman, sent a cable of condolences to Vatican Foreign Minister Angelo Sodanoand.
Ã¢??He (the pontiff) was a man of peace who stood firmly against the (US-led) Iraq war and the Israeli separation wall,Ã¢?Â read the cable, a copy of which was sent to IslamOnline.net. [more]
He played both sides of the fence when it came to issues that concerned me as both a Muslim and an Arab, but I have to admire him for that, I would’ve expected a lot less but he offered a lot more. It takes a brave person who leads so many christians to stand up and say something about Palestine, about Iraq and about Islam & Muslims.
Who can forget his trip to Jordan and The River?
“Today I am in Jordan, a land familiar to me from the Holy Scriptures: a land sanctified by the presence of Jesus himself, by the presence of Moses, Elijah and John the Baptist, and of saints and martyrs of the early Church. Yours is a land noted for its hospitality and openness to all. These are qualities of the Jordanian people which I have experienced many times.”
Photo Album of the Pope @ Mt. Nebo
Time Magazine Photo Essay of the Holy Land trip