Muslims Lecture the Pope on Violence

Written by Drew on September 15th, 2006

Muslims are outraged over comments made by the pope last Tuesday while on a tour of Germany. During an address at a university, Pope Benedict XVI quoted from a book recounting a conversation between 14th century Byzantine Christian Emperor Manuel Paleologos II and a Persian scholar on the truths of Christianity and Islam.

“The emperor comes to speak about the issue of jihad, holy war,” the pope said. “He said, I quote, ‘Show me just what Muhammad 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.'”

The reaction of the Muslim world is, for lack of a better term, astounding. The Associated Press reports.

Salih Kapusuz, a deputy leader of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s party, said Benedict’s remarks were either “the result of pitiful ignorance” about Islam and its prophet, or a deliberate distortion. He continued, “Benedict, the author of such unfortunate and insolent remarks, is going down in history for his words. He is going down in history in the same category as leaders such as Hitler and Mussolini.”

Lebanon’s most senior Shiite Muslim cleric, Grand Ayatollah Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah, demanded an apology: “[We] ask him (Benedict) to offer a personal apology – not through his officials – to Muslims for this false reading (of Islam).”

Pakistan’s parliament unanimously adopting a resolution condemning the pope for making what it called “derogatory” comments.

Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, of the Islamic Hamas group, said the pontiff had offended Muslims everywhere and called on him to reconsider his statement. He said there would be organized protests later in the day “to express Palestinian anger.”

In Iraq’s Shiite Muslim-stronghold of Kufa, Sheik Salah al-Ubaidi criticized the pope during Friday prayers, saying his remarks were a second assault on Islam.

The Muslim Council, which represents 400 groups in Britain, said the emperor’s views were “ill-informed and frankly bigoted.”

Syria’s top Sunni Muslim religious authority, Sheik Ahmad Badereddine Hassoun, delivered a scathing sermon in which he denounced the remarks. “We have heard about your extremism and hate for Arabs and Muslims. Now that you have dropped the mask from your face we see its ugliness and extremist nature,” he said.

In Cairo, Egypt, about 100 demonstrators gathered in an anti-Vatican protest outside the al-Azhar mosque, chanting “Oh Crusaders, oh cowards! Down with the pope!”

One thing is missing from all this rhetoric: A logical defense of Islam in view of the charges, based on the teachings of the Koran. When I hear of charges against Christianity, I am able to answer them using the Bible. Can Muslims prove the Koran encourages peace and that it does not command its adherents to spread their faith by the sword? If they can, why don’t they?


4 Comments so far ↓

  1. Paul says:

    Dave Miller of Apologetics Press has a great DVD series on Islam. The book of Koran is simply silly and dangerous all rolled up into one.

  2. Joel says:

    He also wrote a good book, which the DVD may be based off of, on it as well.

  3. Drew Kizer says:

    The pope apologizes.

    Meanwhile, Palestinian Muslims throw firebombs and spray bullets at five churches in the West Bank and Gaza. They also torched a 170-year-old church in the West Bank town of Tul Karem and partly burned a smaller church in the village of Tubas.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Well, it’s not like they are killing nuns or anything…

Leave a Comment