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Your Comments: Pope’s Statements
Your Comments: Pope’s Statements
Ikhwanweb is posting your responses to Pope Benedict XVI statements and Muslims’ reactions.
Sunday, September 17,2006 00:00
by Khaled Salam, Ikhwanweb

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,

Dear Sir,

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

Sir,

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:

Mark Sternagle
1620 South Ashwicken Court
State College, PA 16801
USA
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.



Anay wrote,


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.



"DEC" wrote,

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.



Greg wrote,

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,

F* you

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.



"Your wrong", wrote,
 
This is your quote:
 
Muslim Brotherhood Chairman Mohammed Mahdi Akef also expressed anger over the pope’s academic speech.
 
"The pope’s statements come to add fuel to fire and trigger anger within the Muslim world and show that the West with its politicians and clerics are hostile to Islam."
 
You saying that the west is hostile to Islam is the BIGGEST LIE ever. There are mosques in the united states and all over the world and you know you cant say that about other religions in the middle east. When a Denmark cartoonist drew a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammed the Islam community almost burned down that country. Then Iran has a contest putting down the west and Israel and did you see the west and Israel overreact and protest like the Muslims? No! The only one that breeds and teaches hate to its own children is Islam. Ever single terror attack in the last 5 years all over the world is from some group associated with Islam! I don’t see Jews, Buddhists, Christians killing Muslims in the name of whoever. Do you? NOPE, but Islam fanatics will behead another living person in the name of allah. Do you watch the news? Of course you do but your news media is full of lies. There is a new movie that’s out all over the world that shows all of the lies of the middle east media and whats really being taught by Muslims in the middle east, you should check it out. www.obsessionthemovie.com We can all live in peace and love, but you must want it and work towards it. Have a great day from the one telling the truth.
 
Islam Fanatics Are Wrong
Simon from the Netherlands, wrote
 
"Friendship"

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)



Mark wrote,

"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.

Regards, John



"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



Tony, wrote,

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?



Mark Azhar, USA. wrote
 
Honorable Bishops,
 
I am a Pakistani-American Liberal Muslim.  I fully support His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI for elaborating important historical  facts recently.  Evidently, the Pontiff’s intention was not to offend Muslims, or negative criticism of their Prophet Mohammad, but of broadcasting Christian concept of reason and it application in order to initiate dialogue between all major religions/cultures in civilized manner.  The Pontiff rightfully quoted the following 14th century Byzantine emperor Manual II Paleolous’ question raised during discussion with an educated Persian gentleman on the subject of Christianity and Islam, Holy War (Jihad) relationship between God, religion and violence in the name of God.
                   "Show me just what Mohammad brought that was new,
                   and there you will find things only evil and inhumane,
                   such as his command to spread by the sword the faith
                   he preached..."
 
The Pontiff has quoted the six hundred years old historical facts.  Therefore, Muslims do not need to be angered at the Pope.  If they wish to continuously do so; they should express their anger towards the then Byzantine emperor who based in Ankara (today’s modern Turkey).    If the Muslims are going to react irresponsibly and radically against Christians; they will simply authenticate Byzantine Emperor’s
point !
 
LET FACE IT MISTAKES HAVE BEEN MADE DURING CONQUESTS BY THE MOST WARRIOR RELIGIOUS LEADERS OF ALL FAITHS IN THE HISTORY OF MANKIND.
 
Muslims need to show tolerance and respect Freedom of Speech in this modern era.
 
Sincerely yours,
Mark Azhar
Flagstaff, Arizona
U.S.A.
 
Tom, USA, wrote,
 
Just about the entire world knows that that Pope Benedict XVI gave a speech on Tuesday condemning religious conversion by violence. The Muslim "street" did not respond until Friday, when the leaders of the Muslim religion called for their faithful to surge into the streets in an orgy of rage and violence. Not content only to burn Christian churches (neither of which follow the Catholic pope), they turned on themselves.
 
Never in the history of Christianity has a pope been proven correct so quickly and demonstrably. This is obscene. Apart from its factual inaccuracy -- there is no evidence that any of the enraged Muslims "listened carefully" to the words of the pope -- this is like blaming a beaten wife for provoking the bastard who throttles her. It is the leaders of prayers in the mosques of the Muslim world who call on their faithful to riot in the streets. It is they who sow pain and incite violence, and anybody unburdened by a loathing of Western civilization knows it.
 
Pope Benedict has nothing to apologize for. The leading clerics of the Muslim world have a great deal to apologize for. Neither the pope nor the Muslim clerics are the only actors here. Tens of thousands of Muslims chose to act in violence or condone violence yesterday. Millions more supported them in this, the evidence being that Muslim politicians jumped on the bandwagon. These millions of Muslims are hardly candles in the wind, helplessly manipulated by the imams. They chose their religion. They chose their mosque. They chose not to "listen carefully" to the words of the pope. They chose to take to the streets in rage, and they chose to burn and attack and kill perfectly innocent people, all on the say-so of one or another demagogue in a turbin. They are not children, however much the cultural relativists who absolve the rioters and their sympathizers infantalize them.
 
I condemn these people for making bad choices; liberals, such as the editors of the New York Times, refuse to condemn them because they believe that Muslims are incapable of choices. I may deplore the choices of these rioting Muslims, but the New York Times holds them in contempt, regarding them as nothing more than wild animals. Just as we all blame humans who antagonize an animal into a violent response, the New York Times blames Westerners who "sow pain," as if Muslims have the free will of a cornered wolf. For my part, I am sick of "Muslim rage." Whether inspired by the pope or Danish cartoonists or the clumsy use of the word "crusade" by a Western politician, there is simply no defense for the behavior of these imams and their followers. It is barbaric, and everybody who is not barbaric or an unreconstructed apologist for barbarians knows it.
 
The Muslims who commit arson and mayhem in response to some Westerner speaking his opinion -- and the pope, as leader of the Roman church, is exactly that -- have chosen to act as enemies of reason, peace, and everything that is good in the world. Whether Islam or pre-Islamic cultural institutions are the source of the problem, there is no escaping the fact that a huge proportion of the Muslim world is economically, scientifically, culturally and politically incompetent by the standards of the world. It has chosen to invent nothing since the Middle Ages, preferring to stew in the juices of decline than solve its own problems. It is so insecure in its faith that the slightest criticism from a non-believer propels thousands of clerics and millions of followers into paroxysms of rage. Yet Islam needs jihad, which I understand means "struggle." It needs a jihad against illiteracy. It needs a jihad against ignorance.
 
It needs a jihad against sloth. It needs a jihad against corruption. It needs a jihad in support of women, without whom it cannot succeed in the modern world. It needs a jihad against the clerics who have -- allegedly, according to "moderates" -- perverted the truth of its religion. It needs a jihad against its governments -- secular and Islamic -- who have destroyed the future for more than a billion people. It needs a jihad against despair. Until I see the arsonists and rioters among Muslims embracing these jihads, I will hold them responsible for the bad choices that they make, including the choice to reject secular education, the choice to destroy rather than construct, the choice to dwell in the past instead of dream about the future, the choice to obsess about Jews rather than wonder how they might emulate the Jews, and the choice to have so little confidence in the power of their own religion that they oppress and condemn and kill those who choose otherwise. The Pope owes no apology, and every Muslim in the world does.
"Proudinfidel", wrote,
 
Well I guess the Pope hit the nail in the head, eh? So, no sorry’s this week, Towelheads, what’s it gonna be, exploding embassies next month? You people are pathetic. Get out of your caves and come to the real world.
Brent Jackson, USA, wrote,
 
Any moron who watches the news can figure out that Islam is all about oppression and violence. It’s up to you people to change the ever increasing belief that islam is all about violence. I thought in the past that most of the violence was done by the "radical islamic", but I’m beginning to belive that all you people think the same way. . .  I love life, unlike muslims, I love my family and enjoy living in a country that values EVERYONE regarless of their gender or beliefs. If you people spent a quarter of the time that you all spend condeming this person or that person for what they think or say on being productive citizens of the world, we might be able to get along . . .  If muslims denouce violence, I’ve yet to hear anyone condem the president of iran for calling for the elimination of israel. I haven’t heard any prominent muslim come out and condem the violence in iraq and condem mulims killing muslims . . . Mulims can’t even respect differences within ISLAM! Why are muslims killing other muslims in iraq? Just becasue they have different beliefs?? . . . Why don’t you people do something to stop the "radical islamics" from killing people? Where are the rallies and protest against them??? Where are the leaders of the mulsim communities? Why aren’t you people doing something?? I know why...cause you are all scared they might taget you and you don’t want to piss off your "brothers". Right!? You all are cowards! GOD bless America! Land of the FREE (not oppressed) Home of the BRAVE!
Nawfal, USA, wrote,
 
The majority of westerners do not comprehend the minutiae of living in any of present-day Islamic countries. They do not comprehend State-controlled media. They do not comprehend the poverty of education of the masses. They do not comprehend the frustrations of the body politic. Indeed, many westerners project their world views onto that of Middle Eastern Countries and wring their hands and shout at everything. So any Muslim action is always misinterpreted or misunderstood. Pope Benedict has always been an exclusivist when it comes to his theological positions. And, right or wrong, he has been consistent. And he has (through his writings) often defended and logically argued for that position. So much reaction to his recent comments have been ad hominem attacks – against him as a person. Or attacks which point to some western-global conspiracy against Muslims. And this serves to present Muslims as having a persecution complex and as victims of the world. But yet, we know Islam is a religion of strong people, hearty faith, and deeply-rooted traditions. Why do some reactionary, silly loud-mouths want to present a poor image of Islam? Would it not be better to listen to Pope Benedict’s words and then provide critical analysis, rational argument, historical and textual rebuttal? This is what Ibn Sina, Idn Rush, Al Ghazali, Al Farabi, Maimonides etc. would have done. But so far, the west only sees Mufti Gumaa piddling about with fatwas on home décor and the Saudi Mufti replying merely by quoting vast amounts of the Qur’an…. using ayat as ammunition. Will comments by factions of religious people be allowed to alight the whole world ablaze? What would be solved by this? Do we yen for more war and destruction? And for nothing more substantial than an old man in Italy’s quotations? Ought not the MB (for example) be noble, just, and use this situation to show their intellectual prowess, their keen understanding of context, and prudent reactions to current affairs?
Frank, USA, wrote,
 
If the pope apologizes I will lose all respect for the man. Why should the rest of the world walk on eggshells in fear of provoking the ire of the Muslim world?? Shame on anyone in the media who made the situation worse by not publishing the entire text of his speech so that the "questionable" passage would not be taken out of context. We call ourselves enlightened and educated but all we have been doing is reacting back and forth. Investigate and don’t believe everything you see on tv!!!!
Tarif, USA, wrote,
 
Always the same, it’s the U.S. that has the whole world on a puppet string. I think its time we look inward. Why do people think and say these things? Could it be us? We respond to papal remarks about Islam and violence with violence. How smart is that? It’s time to tone down the rhetoric and start true dialogue. We all share this world - unless we want to assure both sides will not live through this.
Norman F. Birnberg, USA, wrote,
Is Islam rooted in reason or it is filled with fanaticism? The reaction in the Muslim World to non-Muslims seems to vindicate the point the Pope advanced in his lecture . . . And given the behavior of Muslims since the Pope spoke, we’ve seen anything but a rational defense of Islam. Instead we’ve seen the murder of nuns, firebombings of churches, burnings of the Pope in effigy and death threats against the the head of the Catholic Church. Hardly a considered reply from a faith that wants a frank dialogue of civilizations. If Islam wants to stop people from being hostile to it and dismissing their prophet and the Koran, it will have to change its outlook. It will have to win over men’s minds through reason and love instead of by killing any one it suspects of the slightest disagreement with it. There is something "inhumane and evil" in the soul of Islam today that has to be addressed. Its up to Muslims to decide what kind of religion they want to have. On that basis, the rest of mankind will decide the terms of its relationship with Islam. Islam has to not only discover reason but accord Jews and Christian equal rights within its domain. And yes, that includes allowing Muslims to decide freely for themselves the path to God (if Judaism and Christians offers a better path to salvation, that ought to be a freely considered choice of the individual conscience) just as non-Muslims in the West can freely choose to accept Islam. A true relationship must be based on openness, frankness and reciprocity. Otherwise there is no point to non-Muslims carrying on a dialogue with Muslims. For those who do love God, He is a God of reason and we cannot do anything against His nature and there can be no justification for evil in the name of religion. Period. Faith without reason is just as dangerous to human progress as is reason without faith.

Asmaa, Egypt, wrote,
 
In my opinion I think that all Muslims have to foget this speech completly because Islam is the greatest religion and last one in the world -but don’t forget who is behind that ? for sure the Jews they pay all their capacity to fight Islam and prophet Mohamed - In holy Quraan showing everything about jews and how they did not beleive in any massengers or any Prophets have been sent to them by ALLAH included Jesus and they tried to kill him but never did because ALLAh raised him and Jesus will return back again to fight them and kill them INSHAA ALLAH, so to all Muslems do not worry about this speech , we belive that Allah will be with us completly . . . for non Muslems, read Quraan carefully before giving any comments and read the life of prophet Mohamed - also I want to say jews considred themselves over the mankind and they are better than any kind of people and Allah likes them only- they changed and modified the christianity and divided it three components and let Jesus as a GOD but they couldn’t make that in Islam so they fight it as much as they can-for all muslems be carefull and ALLAH with you and covers you completly - we will wait the worst in the fututre- Asmaa
Anthony, wrote

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


"ELK", wrote,

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!!!



 

 
 
 
Other Topics:

Muslim Brotherhood sees "sufficient" Pope apology
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
Vatican, Rome-Italy
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
Ikhwanweb, London-UK
Ghanoushi Demands Pope To Apologize To Muslims
Ikhwanweb, London-UK
Islam and the West: a historical background
Ikhwanweb, London-UK
Anti-papal backlash gets worse
World War 4 Report - Brooklyn,NY,USA
Muslims blast pope’s Islam speech
CNN - USA
tags: Comments / Pope statements / Muslims’ Reactions / Positive / Negative / Responses / James Mackay / Mark Sternagle / John Buettner / Dave Collins
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