TEHRAN, May 10 (MNA) -- The Islamic world expects Pope Benedict XVI to unequivocally state his views about Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories during his tour of the Middle East.

This will be a test of the Pope’s sincerity.  


Hopefully, he will take a firm stand and condemn the human rights violations of the occupation.


The words of the Pope have great influence in the world, especially among Catholics.


Everyone expects religious leaders to stand on the side of justice, especially the Pope, who is the spiritual leader of over one billion Catholics.


If the people whose homeland has been occupied are not heartened by the Pope, then how can they expect justice from Western political leaders who are beholden to Israel?


Just as the Pope has forcefully and rightfully condemned anti-Semitism, he must also seriously censure the prejudice of the Zionists and the incessant atrocities they are committing against the Palestinians.


Pope Benedict XVI witnessed the 22-day blitzkrieg on Gaza’s children and hopefully was just as horrified as every decent person was.


When religious leaders take a firm stand against every form of injustice, it strengthens people’s belief in God.


These are the values that religious leaders like Pope Benedict XVI are supposed to be promoting.


(May 10 Tehran Times Opinion Column)





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