The Muslim Brotherhood on Sunday September 17, 2006, released a statement expressing its deep concern over reports of criminal assaults on several churches in the West Bank, as well as reports imputed to an unknown Iraqi organization threatening to target Rome and the Vatican in retaliation to the Pope’s recent derogatory remarks against Islam and its prophet (PBUH).
The statement, undersigned by MB Executive Member Eng. Khairat el Shater, read as follows in part
“We, Muslim Brotherhood, would like to point out our very position as follows:
1-We expressly oppose the Pope’s offending statements, which shocked Muslims everywhere, and call on him to renounce them.
2-While the Muslim Brotherhood is aware of the pope’s gross mistake, it, however, calls on Muslims everywhere to observe civilized, peaceful means in their protests against these statements, without attacking or threatening individuals or churches or religious icons anywhere in the world. We see such attacks as taboo in the sight of all Heavenly religions.
3-The Muslim Brotherhood strongly condemns the incidents of assaults on churches in the Western Bank, and consider these attacks criminal actions which undermine the Palestinian cause. Therefore, we call on the Palestinian government to bring to justice those responsible for these attacks.
4-The group highlights that the statements made by the Pope are aimed to mar the image of Islam which enjoins dialogue and peaceful coexistence with others.
5-The Muslim Brotherhood sees dialogue as the best means to refute the Pope’s claims, in accordance with the teachings of the Qura’n which enjoins Muslims to observe the ethics of dialogue with the other.