Pope Benedict XVI has said he is sorry that a speech in which he referred to Islam has offended Muslims.
Here is why Muslims were Offended:
“Show me just what Muhammad brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.”
The emperor, after having expressed himself so forcefully, goes on to explain in detail the reasons why spreading the faith through violence is something unreasonable. Violence is incompatible with the nature of God and the nature of the soul. “God,” he says, “is not pleased by blood – and not acting reasonably is contrary to God’s nature. Faith is born of the soul, not the body. Whoever would lead someone to faith needs the ability to speak well and to reason properly, without violence and threats.”
-Pope Benedict XVI
Muslim reaction to Pope
PAKISTANI PRESIDENT PERVEZ MUSHARRAF
Our strategy must clearly oppose the sinister tendencies to associate terrorism with Islam and discrimination against Muslims, which are giving rise to an ominous alienation between the west and the world of Islam.
MALAYSIAN PRIME MINISTER ABDULLAH AHMAD BADAWI
The Pope must not take lightly the spread of outrage that has been created. The Vatican must now take full responsibility over the matter and carry out the necessary steps to rectify the mistake.
SAUDI GRAND MUFTI SHEIKH ABDUL AZIZ AL-SHEIKH
This is all a lie … Islam is far from terrorism and was spread only through the conviction of peoples who saw the good and justice of Islam.
EGYPTIAN FOREIGN MINISTER AHMED ABOUL GHEIT
This was a very unfortunate statement and it is a statement that shows that there is a lack of understanding of real Islam. And because of this we are hopeful that such statements and such positions would not be stated in order to not allow tension and distrust and recriminations to brew between the Muslim as well as the west.
PALESTINIAN PRIME MINISTER ISMAIL HANIYA
In the name of our Palestinian people… we express our condemnation of the statements of his Excellency the Pope, against Islam as a belief, Sharia, history, and a lifestyle.
DIN SYAMSUDDIN, HEAD OF MUHAMMADIYAH, INDONESIA’S SECOND LARGEST MUSLIM ORGANISATION
The Pope’s statements reflect his lack of wisdom. It is obvious from the statements that the Pope doesn’t have a correct understanding of Islam.
GRAND AYATOLLAH MOHAMMAD HUSSEIN FADLALLAH, SENIOR LEBANESE SHIA CLERIC
We do not accept the apology through Vatican channels… and ask him to offer a personal apology – not through his officials – to Muslims for this false reading
DR MUHAMMAD ABDUL BARI, MUSLIM COUNCIL OF BRITAIN
One would expect a religious leader such as the Pope to act and speak with responsibility and repudiate the Byzantine emperor’s views in the interests of truth and harmonious relations. Regrettably, the Pope did not do so and this has understandably caused a lot of dismay and hurt.