Mumbai (AsiaNews) – Lenin Raghuvanshi, director of the Peoples' Vigilance Committee on Human Rights (PVCHR) in Varanasi, spoke to AsiaNews about Pope Francis’ trip to Lesbos. For the Indian activist, "Pope Francis is the most powerful and humble advocate of diversity and pluralism in the world".
On the Greek island, the pontiff spoke about the migrants’ “tragic situation”, which is one of the “most serious humanitarian crises since the end of the Second World War ".
"The pope's visit has turned the spotlight on the hypocrisy of Muslim political leaders in the Middle East where, thanks to oil, power and wealth are concentrated in a few hands,” said Raghuvanshi reacting to the pope’s reproach to rulers for their negligence towards refugees.
“As the rulers of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates get rich, they ignore the distressing and painful conditions of their Muslim brothers and sisters in the Middle East."
For the PVCHR director, Francis’ humanitarian visit to the Greek island "highlighted the suffering and the tragedy of migrants, bringing the world's attention to their plight.”
“As the religious leader of millions of Catholics in the world, the pope took a real and positive step towards the Muslim world.”
The pope, he added, "stressed the urgent need for dialogue and reconciliation between Christianity and Islam. Through the visit to Lesbos, a simple and yet great gesture, he generated confidence and pluralism between Christians and the Muslim world."
However, the “tragedy of migrants clearly reveals” the “fascist politics” and attitudes of the region’s Muslim political leaders towards the suffering of their own people, Lenin Raghuvanshi said.
Mideast rulers “ignore the conditions of extreme deprivation of the people.” They “are like tyrants who hijack religion and proclaim themselves as religious leaders."
“Thus, there is not much difference between clergy and caliph who crush and oppress their own Muslim people in complete violation of the dictates of Islam."
"The Islamic leaders literally scorn pluralism. The Middle East, with all its sectarian complexity, is rife with extremism.”
“As human rights advocates, we question the elites of the Islamic Middle East, who are not contributing financially to the needs of migrants and asylum seekers in Europe."
By contrast, "we praise and we welcome the steps taken by His Holiness towards creating a better and safer world". (NC)