Robert Gehl reports a video of a Muslim girl weeping at the feet of the Pope has sparked an outcry among Muslim leaders, many of whom accuse the Pope of trying to evangelize to the Muslim refugees.
Rather, the video shows what appears to be a refugee girl desperate for help appealing to the only religious figure who seems to care about them at all.
The video was taken during the pope’s Saturday visit to the Moria refugee camp on the Greek Island of Lesbos, where 3,000 migrants face threats of deportation under a newly-implemented deal between the E.U. and Turkey. While he was meeting refugees at the detention center, a young girl dressed in pink and white approached him, knelt down and kissed his feet until he lifted her up by her shoulders. She was weeping.
Here’s the heartbreaking video:
— الاكثر تاثيرا (@ArabicBest) April 17, 2016
The text translated reads: “Video of a Syrian Muslim girl begging the Pope to save her and her family from homelessness and hunger.”
Many said they were ashamed at the symbolic scene of a Muslim girl at the feet of a Christian leader.
Some are criticizing leaders in the Middle East for abandoning the refugees, forcing them north to Europe. Turkish President Recep Erdogan signed a deal with European leaders saying asylum seekers who make it to Greece can be returned to Europe.
Others criticize Arab Gulf states who “abandoned the Sunnis in Syria and Iraq at the hands of the Shiite and didn’t open the asylum gate for refugees,” pointing out how little has been done by Gulf states to even consider admitting Syrian refugees.
Even more blamed Muslims as a whole. “The Muslims came to such a humiliation because of our incompetence to support them.” Others viewed the pope’s visit to the refugee camp as a sign that he’s trying to evangelize Muslims. “Evangelizing the Syrian refugees has started,” one wrote, while another called on Arab leaders “to pay attention to this attempt,” Voactiv reports.
However, one Muslim had the most poignant remark: “I thank the Pope, who is kinder than most Muslims.”
@ElBaradei نشكر البابا الذي هو ارحم من كثير من المسلمين لكن ليس لتنصيرهم بحجة الرحمه
— بوشملان(قطري من قلب) (@alhadi4u2) April 17, 2016