Aboul-Fotouh Criticizes Papal Aide’s Statements, Calls Them Fanatic against Muslims
Georg Ganswein, the Private Secretary of the Pope of the Vatican, warned of the Islamisation of Europe and stressed the need for the continent”s Christian roots not to be ignored. This statement prompted angry reactions from Muslims all over the world. This is due to its clearly fanatic attitude against Islam and Muslims. Some considered it a call for fanaticism and discrimination against Muslims.
Asked about his reaction towards this statement, Dr. Abdel Moneim Abul Fotouh, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) Executive Office, said to Ikhwanweb:
Such statements from the Pope”s secretary have been recently repeated . this is because the Roman Catholic papacy has been conducting a form of fanaticism and religious discrimination against Muslims. The Pope himself has previously made statements which were rejected and dismissed by all Muslims because they reflected fanaticism and religious discrimination. Statements of the Pope”s secretary tackle the same point. No one can say that Europe is only Christian because political regimes in Europe are secular and constitutions of most European countries do not stipulate they are Christian or non- Christian. Even if Europe is of Christian roots, this shouldn”t prevent Muslims from spreading. We hope the Roman church wouldn”t issue such statements that only undermine human fraternity and may lead to instability among human beings .
Aboul-Fotouh added:” I think these statements violate human rights because they actually explode with anti-Islam venom from Roman Catholic leaders due to the spread of Islam in America and Europe. The US and European people read about Islam, Judaism and other religions. Many of them convert to Islam after thorough meditation and thinking. This shouldn”t anger any body because every human being should be given a freedom of belief. No one should violate such a freedom as long as it is exercised in a natural way without infringing on others freedoms or rights. This statement is a reflection of fanaticism towards the huge spread of Islam in America and Europe.
For his part, Michel Le Long, a French Catholic priest who is well known for attempts to bring closer Christianity and Islam, condemned the latest statements of the papal aide. “Any thing that leads to intimidating people from Islam in Europe must be condemned” said Lelong, adding that ” Islam has become a part of the European countries. Muslims coexist with Christians and others”.
The French priest who for many years directed the Secretariat for Muslim Relations in the Vatican, added:” Such statements ( of the papal aide), are unacceptable. I think they don”t reflect the official attitude of the Vatican regarding having closer relations with other religions, topped by Islam, specially during these tough times facing Western and Eastern hemispheres ” .
Le Long said such statements likely reflect personal and hidden impressions and perhaps some attempts inside the Catholic church to exacerbate tension and reinforce clashes of religions and civilizations, which the Vatican has repeatedly rejected ” .
The French priest pointed out that some media outlet shed more focus on some irrational statements from some figures who aren’t known in the papal and Vatican arenas, like this statement of the Secretary of the Pope.
Le Long stressed that ” The Roman Catholic Church”s official policy is to increase intimacy between religions. This was reiterated by Pope Benedict XVI himself, specially when he received ambassadors of the Islamic countries in his residence in the Vatican on December, 6th, 2006 after some of his statements about Islam triggered Muslims” anger ” .