- September 17, 2006
- 4 minutes read
Were the Pope’s words Questions or Accusations?
The Pope should not have asked his audience about Islam during his philosophical lecture, instead he could ask the Muslim official and popular scholars all over the world. All these scholars condemned the violence that is carried out under the banner of Islam, and distinguished between the legitimate resistance to the aggression, and terrorism; i.e. attacking civilians and innocents.
The Vatican spokesperson tried to alleviate the impact of the Pope’s statements on Muslims saying “the Pope criticized Islam for not “strongly” condemning violence under the banner of faith” Al- Nahar- 15/ 9/ 2006. This was not an inquiry, but an explicit acknowledgement that Islam denounces violence; however not in a “strong way”. This shows lack of awareness about Islam; can denouncing Jihad be a raised question?! Or can claiming that “Islam was spread by the sword” be another question?! This is an issue which was both raised by many orientalists and Christians, and answered by many Muslim scholars and intellectuals, moreover, the Pope himself knows the western fair writers who refuted this point.
What is the relation between the Danish caricatures that accused Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) of being violent and terrorist, and the quotation of the words of the Byzantine emperor who said to the Muslim cultured Persian “Show me just what Mohammed 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”!. Quotation does not excuse who quoted, because he either agrees with or criticizes the quoted words, however the Pope did not criticize the emperor’s words, but quoted them to strengthen his personal opinion about Islam i.e. the Pope was explicitly expressing his view!.
It is really unfortunate that the idea of “the spread of Islam by the sword” is still prevailing in the Christian societies, though it was refuted by many Muslims as well as fair western writers.
I believe that inter-faith dialogue that the Vatican used to effectively call for and participate in, and that Pope Benedict declared that it would have the priority- became in a critical state after the speech of the Pope, because it made the Muslims see that the Church is implicitly siding with tyranny, imperialism, and international terrorism, and blaming the persecuted innocents if they resist under the banner of their religion to defend themselves. However, the Church disregards the internationally organized terrorism that demolish entire peoples as well as killing millions of innocents under the banner of “War on Terror”.
I still see the necessity of the communication and dialogue between religions to face the materialistic fierce trend, which rejects the religious, moral, and humane values, and to go back to one’s good nature and environment. That is why I still see that inter- faith dialogue is the proper way to that…
However, O David, for whom you read your Books!
The Consultant Sheikh Faisal Mawlawi, (picture)
The Secretary- General of the Islamic Group in Lebanon