Sunnis And Shiites Condemn The Pope’s Remarks

Demos in Turkey condemning the Pope’s Speech Muslims from allover the world are resented due to the statements of Pope Benedict XVI about Islam and Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). The Pope stated that Islam was spread by the sword. The Shiites denounced the statements, because of being against reality and irresponsible abuses of Islam.

The Islamic Congress Organization (ICO)condemned the quotation the Pope used- that “Islam was spread by the sword”, and called him to indicate his stance on Islam. in a statement issued on Thursday- 14/ 9/ 2006, the Organization said “we hope this sudden campaign is not a new strategy of Vatican  when dealing with Islam”.

The ICO added that the Pope’s description of the Prophet’s life history and what he called “The spread of Islam by the sword” are irresponsible insults of Islam, affirming that there was no context for these statements. During his lecture in Germany, Tuesday 12/ 9/ 2006, the Pope said that the Prophet came with evil and inhumane things, which is a big contradiction between his speech and the fact of Muhammad (PBUH)
“Ignorance of Religion”
“Saying that Islam spread by violence and bloodshed which is against God’s nature is ignorance about Islam and its history”, the ICO indicated.

The ICO’s statement will not engage in what the church carried out, such as the Crusader’s, the religious wars, or torturing Muslims under the banner of Christianity.
These controversial statements were at the University of Regensburg, Bavaria, Germany, during a lecture about the historical and philosophical difference between Islam and Christianity concerning the relation between the mind and belief.

“Shiite Condemnation”
During al- Jum`a speech at al- Hasanain Mosque in the southern suburb in Beirut, the Shiite scholar, Sheikh Muhammad Hussein Fadlu- Allah, denounced the statements of Pope Benedict XVI and demanded the Pope’s personal apology, saying “we do not accept the apology of the Vatican sources and call for his personal apology for this misleading speech”.

“though we are against what he said quoting the Byzantine emperor’s, we call for Islamic- Christian relations based on understanding the mutual opinions without using provocative speeches.”, he added.
`Afeef al- Nabulsi

Sheikh `Afeef al- Nabulsi (Shiite), head of Jebel `Amel’s Scholars Organization in Lebanon, criticized the defamatory statements of the Pope who claimed that Islam has nothing to do with logic and mind.
In a statement to the Islamic Republic News Agency, Sheikh `Afeef al- Nabulsi said “the Pope’s speech about Islam and Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) does not work for good Islamic- Christian relations, and is far from the necessary horizons of confidence, brotherhood, and tolerance that should prevail the followers of the divine religions”.

 Mr. Muhammad Baqer al- Mosawi al- Mahri, the deputy of the Shiite authorities in Kuwait, objected to the statement, because it is against facts and reality, and called for Benedict’s apology.
In Lebanon, Head of the Supreme Sunni Legal Courts considered the speech as dangerous and called for the pope’s apology for insulting Islam.
“Arabs’ Condemnations”
Hakem al- Muttairi, the Kuwaiti Ummah Party’s Secretary- General, called for an immediate apology for these statements, Al- Muttairi warned of this unusual papal speech concerning Islam, and linked the statements with what he called “the New Western Wars against the Muslim World, as in Iraq, Lebanon, Afghanistan…” considering them “Crusaders’ wars fed by historical and religious grudge”.
`Abdul- Ilaah bin Keraan

In Morocco, MP `Abdul- Ilaah bin Keraan, a founder of the Justice and Development Islamic Party, said that the Pope’s statements are defamation of more than billion Muslims, “Belief is basis of Islam”, he added calling upon the presidents and kings of Muslim states to declare their stance on the statements.
“Aujourdui”, the Moroccan newspaper, warned of the anger of billion Muslims due to the irresponsible and useless statements. 

In Palestine, “Life Makers Club” in Ramallah condemned the Pope’s statements saying “the Pope’s speech represents insult, injustice, and indifference to Muslims, these statements aimed at a disorder between Muslims and Christians”. The club’s statement called for the explicit apology of the Pope and those who agree with him.
A useless comparison for the Pope
In Pakistan, heads of the Muslim parties in Pakistan declared that the Pope’s statements are irresponsible.
Khorshid Ahmad, chief of the Political Studies Institute, which is affiliated to the Islamic Group, said “During the current political situations, these statements can be used by those who hate Islam and Muslims”.

Ingrid Matson- 43, the first lady to preside over the Islamic Society, north of America since the outset of the current month- said “I fell disappointed at the Pope’s statements”.
Ingrid- a professor of Islamic Studies at Hartford- added “it will take a long time to compare violent actions that were carried out under the umbrella of the Catholic church with that of Islam” she meant the Inspection Courts of the church, the Opposition of reform, and the Crusaders’.

She indicated that the Pope wanted to utilize the current political situation to score religious points. She confirmed that this is not the suitable time for these competitions, and the religious leadership should work for the benefit of its subjects.
The society includes about 20 thousands members in the USA and Canada, as well as having 350 mosques and Islamic centers.

Fears of the consequences
In a statement to the Italian News Agency, E`jaz Ahmad, the mayor of the Pakistani Muslim community in Italy and a member of the government- established Consultative Committee about Islam, criticized the Pope saying “I hope the Islamic extremists will not use these statements as a justification for more violence”, he also called the Pope to “unsay his statements”.
E`jaz said “the Pope’s speech ignored that Islam is the cradle of sciences and that Muslims were the first to translate the works of the Greek philosophers before moving to the European history”, “The Muslim World is currently suffering from deep crisis, and any attack or insult will escalate it”, he added.

A group of analysts and experts warned that violent organizations, such as al-Qa’eda, can benefit from these statements that synchronized with the fifth anniversary of September 11 events, which was said to be carried out by bin laden- led organization.

 Muslims Association, a separatist group in Cashmere, called for holding demos after al- Jum`a prayer to protest against the Pope’s statements.

The analysts say that the Pope’s statements synchronize with the Muslims preparation to the holy month of Ramadan, which may escalate the crisis between Muslims and Christian, such as that of the  Danish caricature of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in September 2005.

Since September 11 attacks, Muslims have been suffering from the “war on terror” waged by America that targets none but Muslim states. America, as well as its allies, waged two wars against two Muslim states; Afghanistan and Iraq in October 2001, and March 2003 respectively. Washington also endorsed the Israeli aggression in Lebanon.

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