After Brussels, many leaders were quick to blame refugees. Here's what Pope Francis did.

Unsurprisingly, the terrible bombings in Brussels have already sparked a backlash against refugees and Muslims.

Photo by Dirk Waem/Getty Images.


Prime Minister Beata Szydlo of Poland declared that her country would no longer accept any Syrian refugees.

Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images.

U.S. presidential candidate Ted Cruz called on law enforcement to increase surveillance of Muslim neighborhoods.

Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images.

But Pope Francis?

Photo by Franco Origlia/Getty Images.

Two days after the attacks, he went to a refugee shelter outside of Rome, where he washed and kissed the feet of Muslim migrants.

Migrants arriving at the shelter where the pope performed the ritual. Photo by Alberto Pizzoli/Getty Images.

"We have different cultures and religions, but we are brothers and we want to live in peace," Francis said at the camp, where he also performed the ritual on Christian and Hindu migrants, according to an AP report. Francis began washing the feet of Muslims soon after he became pope in 2013.

Pope Francis reportedly proclaimed the refugees "children of the same god," and his symbolic act speaks volumes at a critical moment.

Migrant children in Greece. Photo by Andrej Isakovic/Getty Images.

There are over one billion Muslims in the world. While nearly every religious community has its share of violent extremists, the entire diverse population shouldn't be held accountable for the actions of a tiny deranged minority.

To say ISIS is incredibly unpopular among Muslims would be a vast understatement.

Refugees are the last people who should have to shoulder the blame for the latest outbursts of violence.

Many of those fleeing Syria and Iraq are running from the exact same people who committed horrific acts of terror in Brussels.

The two attackers killed in the blasts were born in Belgium.

Driving a wedge between the West and the Muslim world is part of what ISIS is trying to achieve. Turning on our Muslim and refugee neighbors would be giving them the satisfaction.

With his visit to the shelter, Pope Francis' message was loud and clear: Even when terrible things happen, let's not fall back on prejudice. At the end of the day, we're all people.

Pope Francis arrives at the shelter. Photo by Alberto Pizzoli/Getty Images.

Whether you're religious or not, that deserves an amen.

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In 1945, the world had just endured the bloodiest war in history. World leaders were determined to not repeat the mistakes of the past. They wanted to build a better future, one free from the "scourge of war" so they signed the UN Charter — creating a global organization of nations that could deter and repel aggressors, mediate conflicts and broker armistices, and ensure collective progress.

Over the following 75 years, the UN played an essential role in preventing, mitigating or resolving conflicts all over the world. It faced new challenges and new threats — including the spread of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, a Cold War and brutal civil wars, transnational terrorism and genocides. Today, the UN faces new tensions: shifting and more hostile geopolitics, digital weaponization, a global pandemic, and more.

This slideshow shows how the UN has worked to build peace and security around the world:

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Malians wait in line at a free clinic run by the UN Multidimensional Integrated Mission in Mali in 2014. Over their 75 year history, UN peacekeepers have deployed around the world in military and nonmilitary roles as they work towards human security and peace. Here's a look back at their history.

Photo credit: UN Photo/Marco Dormino

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