Pope Francis has urged Muslim leaders to condemn terrorism carried out in the name of Islam. The leader of the Roman Catholic Church rejected misrepresentation of Islam as he wrapped up his Turkey visit.
Speaking to reporters on board the plane carrying him back to Rome, Pope Francis said he raised the issue of Islamic terror in Ankara during his talks with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
"I told the president that it would be nice if all Muslim leaders, whether they are political, religious or academic leaders, would speak clearly and condemn this, because this would help the majority of Muslim people," the Pope said.
During his three-day visit to Turkey - his first to the Muslim country - Pope Francis condemned the self-fashioned Sunni group "Islamic State" more than once. Turkey is helping the international coalition against the Middle Eastern Islamist outfit, which has taken over vast swathes of territory in Syria and Iraq.
The Vatican officials have long urged the Muslim leaders to be more vocal against Islamic terrorists.
"We all need a global condemnation (of terrorism)," Francis noted.
The Pope, however, went on to say that it would be unjust to call Muslims terrorists just like "we cannot say that all Christians are fundamentalists."
"We have them also. All religions have these groups," he added.
shs/glb (Reuters, AFP, dpa)