Pope Francis has criticised western countries for trying to force a model of democracy that is too western onto countries like Iran and Libya. He pointed out that these countries already had strong indigenous political cultures that needed to be integrated with the new system rather than dismissed.

In an interview with Roman Catholic French newspaper La Croix, the pontiff once again hit out at "cultural colonialism" which has become prominent in war-torn countries with involvement by the west.

"Faced with the current Islamic terrorism, we should question the way a model was exported too western democracy in countries where there was a strong power, as in Iraq... or Libya, the tribal structure. We cannot move forward without considering that culture," he explained.

"As a Libyan said recently, 'We used to have one Gaddafi, now we have fifty'", Francis said referring to former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi who was killed in 2011.

He went on to state that it was possible for Muslims and Christians to live together harmoniously, an issue that has cropped up time and again during migrant talks. When asked if he was concerned with the growing number of Muslim migrants in Europe which could lead to the spread of Islamic terrorism, he said: "I do not think there is now a fear of Islam, as such, but Daesh and its war of conquest, driven in part by Islam. The idea of ​​conquest is inherent in the soul of Islam, it is true. But could be interpreted with the same idea of ​​conquest, the end of the Gospel of Matthew, where Jesus sends his disciples in all nations."

Pope Francis in Lesbos
Pope Francis blesses a man kneeling in front of him as he greets migrants and refugees at the Moria refugee camp Filippo Monteforte/Reuters

The head of the international Christian community also commended London for electing a Muslim mayor – Sadiq Khan. "In London, the new mayor was sworn in in a cathedral and will probably be received by the queen. This shows the importance for Europe to regain its ability to integrate," he said.

Ten days ago, the pope condemned Europe's reluctance to respond in full force to the influx of Middle Eastern and African migrants, hoping to gain asylum.