- September 17, 2006
Your Comments: Pope’s Statements
Ikhwanweb is posting your responses to Pope Benedict XVI statements and Muslims’ reactions. Some of these comments are positive and many others are negative and offensive to many Muslims. We decided to post these comments in their entirety hoping to stimulate a healthy debate on the issue. Our goal is to promote tolerance and understanding, and combat hate and hostility. We urge our readers to participate by expressing their views freely. Ikhwanweb does not censor any publications or comments but reserve the right to remove any words or expressions that defy the public taste.
Khaled Salam, Editor, London, UK
James Mackay, UK, wrote,
I am saddened by the extreme reaction by the leaders of the Islamic community regarding the comments of the Pope. It seems to be the stand point of the Islamic world more and more these days that the world is against them, that all other Faiths are insignificant and false. What they seem to forget is when you look at most of the Faiths of the world the basic precepts of those Faiths are the same, you should worship God, you should not kill, you should not steal, you should treat your neighbour as you would expect them to treat you, I agree that this is a simplification of a very complex subject but like all Faiths it is corrupted by humans when they interpret the Faith (which comes from God) into Religion.
It is Religion which is moulded by humans to suit their own (often wicked) needs. Examples of this can be seen throughout history, The Crusades in the Middle East, The Moorish Conquest of Spain, The destruction of Buddhist statues in Afghanistan to name but a few. Is it not time that we all (irrespective of which Faith we follow) put into practice the precepts of all our Faiths rather than using our Religion to justify our inhumane and evil actions. In order to be treated with respect we must show respect. If you disagree with the actions of another you should resolve that disagreement by discussion not by the murder of innocent people in the name of God.
From my understanding of the Faith of Islam from discussions with Islamic friends, Islam is one of the more gentle and tolerant faiths but from what I see and read this is becoming the case no longer. If I did not know better I would find this hard to believe with all the reports of beheadings of innocent aid workers, the suicide bombings of innocent tourists and civilians, the destruction of places of worship and statues of other Religions. It is not surprising that people associate murder, destruction and terrorism with Islam. Here in the UK there is growing resentment towards the Islamic community because of the aforementioned evil acts and also because of what seems to be the “victim persona” that members of the Islamic community portray when the police arrest people involved in planning and executing these acts, yet they appear to do nothing to prevent or assist the police in preventing these acts. Is it not the case that in order to improve a situation that it must begin with one person willing to change their viewpoint, to see the situation from the other perspective. Is it not also true that if we wait till the other person makes this change the situation will gradually become worse as the perception is that the other party is intolerant and uncompromising when the same is true of both parties.
My fear is that all parties will be inflexible and that there will be a violent and uncontrollable backlash which will be catastrophic for all. Many innocent people will be killed on all sides and all because Faith is being corrupted by all sides. This outburst of violence will solve nothing but only make the situation worse. Is it not time to put an end to all the madness and use dialogue instead of weapons, to collaborate with each other to overcome problems and to build a better world, rather than creating problems and destroying the world? If you are willing to join me in taking this first step towards living in tolerance and peace together, you will publish and discuss this email with others, in the hope of finding a common starting point where we can start to understand each other and live in harmony. If we do not then we are all lost and will have no hope of living together in paradise in the sight of God.
Yours Hopefully James Mackay
Mark Sternagle, PA, USA, wrote
The Muslim reaction to the Pope’s remarks seems to prove his main thesis–followers of Mohammed are incapable of intelligent discourse and debate without promoting or resorting to threats and violence. Indeed, Mohammed and his followers spread the religion of Islam through violence and warfare, one need only study the rise of the Islamic empire which culminated in the battle of Tours in A.D. 732 to acknowledge this fact.
The refusal to debate or even discuss criticism of your religion shows Islam to be an intolerant, bigoted, and violent cult. The historical records hardly deny that Islam was founded by a man whose followers spread his views through violence and the refusal to acknowledge this is comical.
I fully expect that I am wasting my time trying to have an intelligent discussion about your religion when it seems the Muslim way is to shout down, murder, and attack any doubt or opposition. In reality the Muslim religion is retarding the progress of the human race through its inability to be self-aware and tolerate criticism.
Sir, I fully expect these comments to be met with ignorance, fear, and most likely threats. . .Kindly direct them to:
1620 South Ashwicken Court
State College, PA 16801
P (814) 237-6105
F (814) 237-6105
E [email protected]
Bridgette, USA, commenting on the article “Papal Ignorance” by Khalid Amayreh, wrote
This article is not objective because it is very positive about Islam but negative about Christianity. There are many people changing their faith and so there are many Muslims who are becoming Christians too. I am very happy too be a Christian, a bit Boeddhist, a bit Muslim, a bit of everything, I believe that we all should work towards one universal religion in the future as there is one God and we are all His children. He loves all of us equally. I have Muslims as friends and we respect eachother, learn from eachother, love eachother like brothers and sisters. So as long as there are more religions let us at least respect eachother and not get angry so easy but solve our differences and you won’t believe how beautifull and peacefull it will be on Earth. We can use all the money spent on warfare to stop hunger and starvation. Let us all unite as brothers and sisters and respect our differences.
Has anyone of you ignorant people actually READ the Pope’s speech? He quoted the Byzantinian emperor’s remarks not because he believed them to be correct, but as an example from an ill-fated time when Muslims AND Christians alike were spreading their faith with the sword. To be more accurate: the Christians themselves started it. Even Jesus himself had said that he was not bringing peace but the sword! Historically Christianity started with warfare. But the Pope clearly dissociated from this bellicose philosophy and from the emperor’s words in those dark times. It was his concern to overcome any hostile attitudes and use reason and rationality to achieve a dialog between Christianity and Islam. But the Pope unintentionally also showed the world a sore point of Islamic faith: judging from the Muslim reaction you seem to completely lack any of the “reason” and “rationality” that are necessary for interreligious dialog. You need to banish all irrationality and naive fundamentalism in accordance to the spirit of the Enlightenment, which is not a Western but a HUMAN phenomenon. You need to allow textual criticism, you need to allow an unprejudiced occupation with issues of faith and the history of all religions. Only then will it be easier to speak to each other. Only then will you be able to understand. Only then will you be able to understand that we are of one. We need to set about developing a true religious oikumene, a Christian-Islamic society with one true God for all. I am prepared to sacrifice my existence to God and become a Muslim Christian. But are you prepared to become Christian Muslims
“Ndurel”, USA wrote
I support the Pope for telling the truth. When are the Muslims going to apologize for murder. Why should the pope apologize? Unlike all the Muslims the Pope is not an atheist, or a infidel. He stated the truth
Suzanne, USA, wrote
I am deeply upset that Muslims react so violently anytime there is a “perceived” criticism of Islam. If people are offended by what Pope Benedict said does it justify attacks on churches? Why when there have been Muslim terrorist attacks there has been no denouncement from Islamic Leaders? Why was there no apology for 9/11? If the entire quote is read from the Pope it is clear he is not trying to attack Islam. He is merely trying to start a dialouge.
HERES WHAT YOU FAIL TO UNDERSTAND, IN THE WEST WE BELIEVE IN FREEDOM OF SPEECH AND FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION AND THE POPE WAS WITHIN HIS RIGHTS TO SAY WHAT HE DID, AND AS FOR YOUR RELIGION I WOULD RATHER EAT CAMEL DUNG THAN BE A PART OF IT.
What is the matter with you people? All you seem to want to do is argue and fight with everyone. You get upset over the smallest of things and scream and kill people to solve your differences with people who don’t like your religion. Then you wonder why people begin to not like you? You guys act like your crazy.
Syed Muhafiz, wrote
WHATEEVR POPE SAID ITS TOTALLY WRONG. I AM AGAINST HIM. HE SHOULD SAY SORRY FOR IT.
“D Burr” wrote,
While members of your glorious “religion” cut off the heads of bound victims, you again try to evoke sympathy for the harsh language of someone in the west (this time the Pope). F* you and all the adherents of your disgraceful and disgusting movement pretending to be a religion. The next Crusades cannot come soon enough in my opinion.
Don’t think that the western world don’t like Islam people. We are educated in a discussion about everything! About good thingsand bad things! I think that the pope would like to open a discussion lets talk and accept a discussion. I think that a lot of people have not the discussion to hurt. ( i am not a Catholic)
“Islam and Da Pope”
see there ya’ll go again gettin all outraged and violent over the pope’s comment’s. seem’s to me that a faith such as your’s that supposedly is a faith of peace would be able to try to school the pope and the world in a peacefull way about just what ya’ll belive in but ya’ll just dont seem to be able to do that, it’s a shame the ladie across the street is a muslim from maracco and i trust and love her she is my friend but you guys just cant get it right. i see all the MB that are in jail’s all over, we see the news about the violence ya’ll cause, i dont know much about your god but he’s gotta be pissed off at ya’ll for the violence ya’ll cause around the world and if he is the one that told you to use violence against us infidels cause we dont belive in your god . . . well in closing i’m not sure about whats wrong with ya’ll but i do know that ya’ll aint going about trying to present your faith as peacefull very well.
John Buettner, USA, wrote
I just wanted to let the Muslim Brotherhood know that as a Catholic and an American, I support Pope Benedict’s right to quote from historical documents about Islam and Christianity. The responses of Islamic politicians and leaders to the Pope’s quoting the text and discussing violence in Islam’s and Christianity’s histories are nothing short of intellectually immature and childish, and they seem to suggest that the free and open discussion of Islam’s history and doctrines are off limits to the rest of the world. Muslim clerics worldwide routinely condemn and defame Christians, Christianity, and the Catholic Church from their madrasas, mosques, and worship centers–why do we never hear condemnation of this from Islamic leaders and nations? What a sad day for freedom in the Middle East and freedom of speech and intellectual discussion in the entire world. I just hope that Muslim’s in your own nation and in other nations don’t use this as another reason to persecute Christians, deny them their religious and civil rights, and do violence in the name of Allah. In the meantime, I will continue to pray for peace and enlightenment in the Middle East. Your region of the world sorely needs them.
“An American” wrote,
I want to say how absurd Muslims, Islamists sound. The Pope’s message was about the hypocracy of violence in religion, thus the term jihad – holy war. For a war to be based on religion is the most illogical reasoning. Religion is based on morals between people of this planet. People who must live together. Religion is created to make peace amongst us. Has religion done this? NO! Yet, the Pope’s words are “pitifully ignorant” as I read in one article. Muslims demand an apology for his request for Muslims/Islamists to understand the hypocracy of a jihad. Why doesn’t your group demand an apology from the extremist who murder in the name of Allah, thus creating discontent in the world. It is those people that should be apologizing. Not the Pope. Your people are mislead by a religion based on violence. I hope the Pope does not apologize. Muslims/Islamists are the ones who are “pitifully ignorant.”
“Prophetofsadness”, USA, wrote,
There is so much that needs to be said to the whole world and to all people of this world. But this world and all it’s leaders are so filled with hate, greed and ego, very few ever wish to hear the simple truth and love of everyones Creator. People push their own agenda’s caring nothing for the truth. This is true of the leaders of all the worlds great religions also, what a shame. God is love, He is not hate. He who is filled with hate is a child of the Devil, not of God. Give unto me space to speak to you in love, caring and peace. That is, if you do seek honesty and the simple truths of our Creator, do you???
Gary Lee, USA, wrote,
I am Christian and a Westerner (USA). Your comments regarding the Pope (I am not Catholic) included this quote: “aroused the anger of the whole Islamic world and strengthened the argument of those who say that the West is hostile to everything Islamic.” You are quite correct. We in the West know little of your religion, as you know little of Christianity. What little I know of Islam tells me it is a religion of hate and violence. In my religion, we judge prophets by their works. Works of violence, however construed, are evil, never Godly. Do not blame the West much less this new pope. Consider the source. Gary Lee Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA
It is interesting to me how you Muslims are so offended by cartoons, speaches made by the Pope, and other things that criticize Islam. If one says in a speech that Muslim’s are riotous, then you folks go out and riot, provimg the point. It’s very silly, don’t you think? We Christiam’s, the Jews, and you Muslims, we all believe in the same God. Yet, only the Muslim’s behave as though God was theirs exclusively. It’s time for the Islamic world to grow up and behave like real men. If you want to become leaders in the world, if you want to reestablish your Caliphat, then you should be prepared to take some criticizm along the way. Your religion does have a history of violence. And when you perpetrate violemce aginst innocents that you believe are devils, no outvry
Sondos, Egypt, wrote,
alsalamoalaikom, I believe that the Pope’s speech is a starting point for a constructive muslim-christian dialogue. The first reaction, as far as i remember, i saw on Aljazeera (arabic news channel) was that of a Muslim scholar inviting the Pope for a debate concerning the direct relationship between Islam and Reason. I also expect other Muslim scholars around the world to be ready for a civilized and positive dialogue either with the Pope or with ENLIGHTENED christians.
Sondos Asem a Muslim Egyptian
Jaime Oeste, USA, wrote,
When did Islamic leaders ever apologize for 9/11 or for the U.S.S. Cole, or for the first WTC bombing, or for the Embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania, or in London, Bali, and Rome? Get real folks. Nobody owes you or your prophet an apology. You chose to live by the sword. Don’t complain when people act in self defense. It is not the West that has publicly committed itself to world-wide conquest. It is Islam that holds that view. You can’t win! Why don’t you start acting like civilized citiizens of the world instead of barbarians?
I am dismayed at the way many muslims have reacted to the Pope’s remarks – he quoted someone who linked sections of your faith with violence – what was the response from sections of your faith – to demand that the Pope should be killed – we see picture of violent hate filled crowds burning effigy’s of the Holy Father – it seems to me that nothing has changed since the 14th century and that some sections of Islam are indeed motivated by death and destruction – how can this be the work of God.
Surely we should be living together in peace and harmony – the Pope is not like Bush or Blair and he condemns their violence as well – many many times he criticized the war in Iraq and recently he condemned Jewish aggression in Lebanon. I am a Catholic and I pray daily for the oppressed people in Palestine and Lebanon . To attack the Pope is wrong – if anything he has highlighted the fact that there are influential tendencies within Islam that use violence to reach their objectives. Please read the full text of the lecture again and you will see he meant no harm. Best wishes
Greg Dawes, New Zealand, wrote,
I am saddened by both the Pope’s remarks and by the reaction of so many of your non-Muslim readers. It is true that the Pope was making an important point. In interpreting our various Scriptures, he was saying, we are entitled to assume that God would not command us to act in ways that we would judge to be unreasonable. Spreading the faith by violence would be unreasonable. But he failed to point out that many Muslim thinkers have made the same point, both about faith and reason (e.g. Harun Nasution) and about violence. So he missed an opportunity to lend support to moderate voices within the Muslim world. And he could have made his point without mentioning the words of the emperor. So this was truly an opportunity lost
Even though it’s the catholics that made the comment other christians know the muslims true intent and are not fooled by your fake nicities and open hands but see the true intents of your followers actions. The one thing that stands true about the differances of Christianity and Mohammed is One is a copy cat and the other was an origal thinker and possible the son of god.. Christ was born before the end of the BC era, Mohammad was born, according to Muslim historians, on April 20, 571 So I would rather go with the faith of an original prophet then [Mohamed] or someone Like Joeseph Smith of the mormon faith who didn’t have an original thought of their own. but stole from a far better human being that this planet has ever known. Well except maybe Gandhi he was pretty cool…… Also any religion that promotes Suicidal Marterizm is in my opinion truely an ignorant group of Wankers that is truely getting what they deserve from the world today, that being a good swift kick in the head . . . So I must agree with the gentleman the POPE Quoted and that is your faith is one laced with Evil and Bad intents toward Humanity as a whole and should be squashed like the rest of the worst pagan religion of the past
John McKenzie,TN, USA, wrote,
Some one is blowing up schools and hospitals and people. Someone is beheading innocents. Someone is launching missiles at civilians airliners and warships. Some one is hijacking airplanes and crashing them into buildings in NYC where there are hundreds of thousands civilians. Someone shot the previous Pope. Someone attacked the Olympics and Olympic athletes. Someone attempted genocide on the Kurds. Someone just killed a 60 year old NUN. All of these horrible, inhuman acts were perpetrated by Muslims. Do you think for a minute that these atrocities will be forgotten? Muslims are starting something that they will pay dearly for in the end. And the so-called reasonable, intelligent Muslims have NEVER CONDEMNED ANY OF “IT”. And that is because you cannot. If you do you will pay with your own life. I have been called an infidel. I am not an infidel. I believe and always will believe that Jesus Christ is the son of the only God. I have been threatened and supposedly “earmarked” for conversion or death. I am a sane man. I am a rational man. I am an intelligent man. I am forwarned. I am therefore ARMED. When and if this “thing” happens I am ready to do what has to be done. Know this. I will defend my God, my country, my home, my family and my own life until there is NO LIFE left in me. So help me God. I ask you: IF the Qua-ran does NOT authorize “beheadings”, IF ALLAH does NOT authorize “beheadings” … WHO does? What give any Muslim the right to hack off another human beings head?
Dave Collins, wrote,
The Pope expressed the words of a 14th century figure, and the whole Islamic world goes haywire. Some of the Surah’s of the Koran such as this one, for instance, exhorts the faithful to either fight the unbelievers or extort them: Sura 9-29: “Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.” Here is one that some of the Jihadi’s have taken quite literally in the very recent past: Sura 47-4: “When you meet the unbelievers, strike off their heads; then when you have made wide slaughter among them, carefully tie up the remaining Let’s face it Islam is not peaceful and it is not tolerant. The Pope was just telling the truth by citing someone else’s words. Am I right? or am I missing something?
Bernhard wilden, China, wrote,
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Bud Renninger, Canada, wrote
If the truth hurts then it hurts and is still the truth….. The reaction of the Muslim world is telling the story in truth!!!
Malaysia Star – Malaysia
Pope’s apology ’sufficient’: Muslim Brotherhood
SABC News – Auckland Park,South Africa
Muslim Brotherhood sees “sufficient” Pope apology
Reuters India – Mumbai,India
The Pope speech at the Vatican website
Brothers ask Pope to apologise
News24 – South Africa
Pope statement not enough – Muslim Brotherhood
Malaysia Star – Malaysia
Pope statement not enough – Muslim Brotherhood
Swissinfo – Switzerland
Muslim leaders condemn Pope’s speech, want apology
Malaysia Star – Malaysia
Islamic leaders denounce Pope’s remarks
Ninemsn – Sydney,New South Wales,Australia
Pope Seen Criticizing Islam
Islam Online, Cairo-Egypt
MB Chairman Condemns Pope’s Statements
Ghanoushi Demands Pope To Apologize To Muslims
Islam and the West: a historical background
Anti-papal backlash gets worse
World War 4 Report – Brooklyn,NY,USA
Muslims blast pope’s Islam speech
CNN – USA