.- A leading Muslim theologian described Pope John Paul II as “the light of inter-religious dialogue” at the international meeting of world religions in Assisi, on Tuesday.
Mohammed Amine Smaili, a professor of Islamic dogma at the University of Rabat in Morocco, said the late pontiff was the “strongest voice for hope and justice” he had ever heard, reported ANSA.
The theologian’s comments highlight the high regard for the late pontiff among non-Christians and the support that has been expressed for his cause for beatification.
Msgr. Slawomir Oder, the Polish priest overseeing the Polish pope’s cause, has confirmed in the press that at least five non-Catholics had sent him letters attesting to the late pope’s holiness.
Likewise, former Vatican spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls said earlier this year that many letters about John Paul's holiness had arrived from agnostics, Muslims, Buddhists and Hindus.
The Muslim professor said Tuesday he remembers John Paul's 1985 trip to Morocco, where he invited the 80,000 young Muslims gathered there to work for harmony between peoples, reported ANSA.
"He was a friend of the oppressed, the poor, the sick, a defender of the dignity of every human being," he was quoted as saying. "He was an exceptional man who combined vast learning with a fabulous intelligence. To my mind, as a Muslim, he was the light of inter-religious dialogue."