A high-ranking Filipino Muslim leader urged all people of faith, regardless of specific religious affiliations, to go all out in their support for Pope Francis.
According to Asia News, Imam Ebra M Moxsir Al-Haj, an Islamic scholar and a chaplain of the Philippine National Police (PNP), called on his "Muslim brothers and sisters to join the Holy Father in his efforts" against the use of violence. The Muslim leader made his comments in an interview set to be aired in January.
Moxsir urged his fellow Filipino Muslims to welcome the Pontiff and support his call for interfaith cooperation based on honesty and goodwill as the way to achieve real peace.
He also said he shares the Pope's stance against extremism, noting that only peace between religions can stop it.
"Good Muslims and Christians all want peace," he explained. "Education has an important role to play to make it happen . . . We must see to it that our brothers and sisters are properly educated in their faith so that they will not be swayed by those extremists".
The Pope is set to travel to Sri Lanka and the Philippines on January 12th-19th. During his visit to the Philippines, Pope Francis will meet survivors of typhoon Yolanda, as well as with the country's religious leaders and a Sunday Mass in Manila, which is expected to draw five million people.