Pope Francis has said many false things about Islam. He has said that “there is no such thing as Islamic terrorism” and that ‘“authentic Islam and the proper reading of the Quran are opposed to every form of violence.” He has, in turn, been praised by the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Ahmed al-Tayeb, who thanked him for his “defense of Islam against the accusation of violence and terrorism.”
He has even obliquely justified the murders of the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists who had drawn Muhammad, saying that “it is true that you must not react violently, but although we are good friends if [an aide] says a curse word against my mother, he can expect a punch, it’s normal. You can’t make a toy out of the religions of others. These people provoke and then (something can happen).” So the murder of a dozen helpless cartoonists is compared to a punch. There is something out of whack in the Pope’s moral calculus.
The Pope seems to think that the more he defends Islam, the more likely it is that Muslims will reciprocate, will display more favorable attitudes toward Christianity. He doesn’t allow for the possibility that Muslims will gladly pocket his praise, but far from offering something meaningful in return, will continue relentlessly in their efforts to defend and spread Islam until it everywhere dominates.