Pope's Speech on Faith and Reason

Category: Faith & Spirituality Topics: Iman (Faith And Belief), Pope Values: Education Views: 11073

In a speech on Tuesday September 12, 2006, Pope Benedict XVI quoted a 14th century Christian emperor, who said that the prophet Mohammed had brought "things only evil and inhuman" to the world.

The Pope's words prompted outrage among Muslims around the world.

A Vatican official said Saturday that Pope Benedict XVI "deeply regretted" the speech and that it "sounded offensive to the sensibility of Muslim believers."

The statement, by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the new Vatican secretary of state, was made as denunciations from Muslim leaders over the speech continued for a third day around the world.

Following is the full text of the Pope Benedict's speech that has caused the Muslim indignation.

(SEPTEMBER 9-14, 2006)



Aula Magna of the University of Regensburg
Tuesday, 12 September 2006

Faith, Reason and the University Memories and Reflections

Your Eminences, Your Magnificences, Your Excellencies, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is a moving experience for me to be back again in the university and to be able once again to give a lecture at this podium. I think back to those years when, after a pleasant period at the Freisinger Hochschule, I began teaching at the University of Bonn. That was in 1959, in the days of the old university made up of ordinary professors. The various chairs had neither assistants nor secretaries, but in recompense there was much direct contact with students and in particular among the professors themselves. We would meet before and after lessons in the rooms of the teaching staff. There was a lively exchange with historians, philosophers, philologists and, naturally, between the two theological faculties. Once a semester there was a dies academicus, when professors from every faculty appeared before the students of the entire university, making possible a genuine experience of universitas - something that you too, Magnificent Rector, just mentioned - the experience, in other words, of the fact that despite our specializations which at times make it difficult to communicate with each other, we made up a whole, working in everything on the basis of a single rationality with its various aspects and sharing responsibility for the right use of reason - this reality became a lived experience. The university was also very proud of its two theological faculties. It was clear that, by inquiring about the reasonableness of faith, they too carried out a work which is necessarily part of the "whole" of the universitas scientiarum, even if not everyone could share the faith which theologians seek to correlate with reason as a whole. This profound sense of coherence within the universe of reason was not troubled, even when it was once reported that a colleague had said there was something odd about our university: it had two faculties devoted to something that did not exist: God. That even in the face of such radical scepticism it is still necessary and reasonable to raise the question of God through the use of reason, and to do so in the context of the tradition of the Christian faith: this, within the university as a whole, was accepted without question.

I was reminded of all this recently, when I read the edition by Professor Theodore Khoury (MUnster) of part of the dialogue carried on - perhaps in 1391 in the winter barracks near Ankara - by the erudite Byzantine emperor Manuel II Paleologus and an educated Persian on the subject of Christianity and Islam, and the truth of both. It was presumably the emperor himself who set down this dialogue, during the siege of Constantinople between 1394 and 1402; and this would explain why his arguments are given in greater detail than those of his Persian interlocutor. The dialogue ranges widely over the structures of faith contained in the Bible and in the Qur'an, and deals especially with the image of God and of man, while necessarily returning repeatedly to the relationship between - as they were called - three "Laws" or "rules of life": the Old Testament, the New Testament and the Qur'an. It is not my intention to discuss this question in the present lecture; here I would like to discuss only one point - itself rather marginal to the dialogue as a whole - which, in the context of the issue of "faith and reason", I found interesting and which can serve as the starting-point for my reflections on this issue.

In the seventh conversation (*4V8,>4H - controversy) edited by Professor Khoury, the emperor touches on the theme of the holy war. The emperor must have known that surah 2, 256 reads: "There is no compulsion in religion". According to the experts, this is one of the suras of the early period, when Mohammed was still powerless and under threat. But naturally the emperor also knew the instructions, developed later and recorded in the Qur'an, concerning holy war. Without descending to details, such as the difference in treatment accorded to those who have the "Book" and the "infidels", he addresses his interlocutor with a startling brusqueness on the central question about the relationship between religion and violence in general, saying: "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". The emperor, after having expressed himself so forcefully, goes on to explain in detail the reasons why spreading the faith through violence is something unreasonable. Violence is incompatible with the nature of God and the nature of the soul. "God", he says, "is not pleased by blood - and not acting reasonably (F< 8`(T) is contrary to God's nature. Faith is born of the soul, not the body. Whoever would lead someone to faith needs the ability to speak well and to reason properly, without violence and threats... To convince a reasonable soul, one does not need a strong arm, or weapons of any kind, or any other means of threatening a person with death...".

The decisive statement in this argument against violent conversion is this: not to act in accordance with reason is contrary to God's nature. The editor, Theodore Khoury, observes: For the emperor, as a Byzantine shaped by Greek philosophy, this statement is self-evident. But for Muslim teaching, God is absolutely transcendent. His will is not bound up with any of our categories, even that of rationality. Here Khoury quotes a work of the noted French Islamist R. Arnaldez, who points out that Ibn Hazn went so far as to state that God is not bound even by his own word, and that nothing would oblige him to reveal the truth to us. Were it God's will, we would even have to practise idolatry.

At this point, as far as understanding of God and thus the concrete practice of religion is concerned, we are faced with an unavoidable dilemma. Is the conviction that acting unreasonably contradicts God's nature merely a Greek idea, or is it always and intrinsically true? I believe that here we can see the profound harmony between what is Greek in the best sense of the word and the biblical understanding of faith in God. Modifying the first verse of the Book of Genesis, the first verse of the whole Bible, John began the prologue of his Gospel with the words: "In the beginning was the 8`(@H". This is the very word used by the emperor: God acts, F< 8`(T, with logos. Logos means both reason and word - a reason which is creative and capable of self-communication, precisely as reason. John thus spoke the final word on the biblical concept of God, and in this word all the often toilsome and tortuous threads of biblical faith find their culmination and synthesis. In the beginning was the logos, and the logos is God, says the Evangelist. The encounter between the Biblical message and Greek thought did not happen by chance. The vision of Saint Paul, who saw the roads to Asia barred and in a dream saw a Macedonian man plead with him: "Come over to Macedonia and help us!" (cf. Acts 16:6-10) - this vision can be interpreted as a "distillation" of the intrinsic necessity of a rapprochement between Biblical faith and Greek inquiry.

In point of fact, this rapprochement had been going on for some time. The mysterious name of God, revealed from the burning bush, a name which separates this God from all other divinities with their many names and simply declares "I am", already presents a challenge to the notion of myth, to which Socrates' attempt to vanquish and transcend myth stands in close analogy. Within the Old Testament, the process which started at the burning bush came to new maturity at the time of the Exile, when the God of Israel, an Israel now deprived of its land and worship, was proclaimed as the God of heaven and earth and described in a simple formula which echoes the words uttered at the burning bush: "I am". This new understanding of God is accompanied by a kind of enlightenment, which finds stark expression in the mockery of gods who are merely the work of human hands (cf. Ps 115). Thus, despite the bitter conflict with those Hellenistic rulers who sought to accommodate it forcibly to the customs and idolatrous cult of the Greeks, biblical faith, in the Hellenistic period, encountered the best of Greek thought at a deep level, resulting in a mutual enrichment evident especially in the later wisdom literature. Today we know that the Greek translation of the Old Testament produced at Alexandria - the Septuagint - is more than a simple (and in that sense really less than satisfactory) translation of the Hebrew text: it is an independent textual witness and a distinct and important step in the history of revelation, one which brought about this encounter in a way that was decisive for the birth and spread of Christianity. A profound encounter of faith and reason is taking place here, an encounter between genuine enlightenment and religion. From the very heart of Christian faith and, at the same time, the heart of Greek thought now joined to faith, Manuel II was able to say: Not to act "with logos" is contrary to God's nature.

In all honesty, one must observe that in the late Middle Ages we find trends in theology which would sunder this synthesis between the Greek spirit and the Christian spirit. In contrast with the so-called intellectualism of Augustine and Thomas, there arose with Duns Scotus a voluntarism which, in its later developments, led to the claim that we can only know God's voluntas ordinata. Beyond this is the realm of God's freedom, in virtue of which he could have done the opposite of everything he has actually done. This gives rise to positions which clearly approach those of Ibn Hazn and might even lead to the image of a capricious God, who is not even bound to truth and goodness. God's transcendence and otherness are so exalted that our reason, our sense of the true and good, are no longer an authentic mirror of God, whose deepest possibilities remain eternally unattainable and hidden behind his actual decisions. As opposed to this, the faith of the Church has always insisted that between God and us, between his eternal Creator Spirit and our created reason there exists a real analogy, in which - as the Fourth Lateran Council in 1215 stated - unlikeness remains infinitely greater than likeness, yet not to the point of abolishing analogy and its language. God does not become more divine when we push him away from us in a sheer, impenetrable voluntarism; rather, the truly divine God is the God who has revealed himself as logos and, as logos, has acted and continues to act lovingly on our behalf. Certainly, love, as Saint Paul says, "transcends" knowledge and is thereby capable of perceiving more than thought alone (cf. Eph 3:19); nonetheless it continues to be love of the God who is Logos. Consequently, Christian worship is, again to quote Paul - "8@(46 8"JD,"", worship in harmony with the eternal Word and with our reason (cf. Rom 12:1).

This inner rapprochement between Biblical faith and Greek philosophical inquiry was an event of decisive importance not only from the standpoint of the history of religions, but also from that of world history - it is an event which concerns us even today. Given this convergence, it is not surprising that Christianity, despite its origins and some significant developments in the East, finally took on its historically decisive character in Europe. We can also express this the other way around: this convergence, with the subsequent addition of the Roman heritage, created Europe and remains the foundation of what can rightly be called Europe.

The thesis that the critically purified Greek heritage forms an integral part of Christian faith has been countered by the call for a dehellenization of Christianity - a call which has more and more dominated theological discussions since the beginning of the modern age. Viewed more closely, three stages can be observed in the programme of dehellenization: although interconnected, they are clearly distinct from one another in their motivations and objectives.

Dehellenization first emerges in connection with the postulates of the Reformation in the sixteenth century. Looking at the tradition of scholastic theology, the Reformers thought they were confronted with a faith system totally conditioned by philosophy, that is to say an articulation of the faith based on an alien system of thought. As a result, faith no longer appeared as a living historical Word but as one element of an overarching philosophical system. The principle of sola scriptura, on the other hand, sought faith in its pure, primordial form, as originally found in the biblical Word. Metaphysics appeared as a premise derived from another source, from which faith had to be liberated in order to become once more fully itself. When Kant stated that he needed to set thinking aside in order to make room for faith, he carried this programme forward with a radicalism that the Reformers could never have foreseen. He thus anchored faith exclusively in practical reason, denying it access to reality as a whole.

The liberal theology of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries ushered in a second stage in the process of dehellenization, with Adolf von Harnack as its outstanding representative. When I was a student, and in the early years of my teaching, this programme was highly influential in Catholic theology too. It took as its point of departure Pascal's distinction between the God of the philosophers and the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. In my inaugural lecture at Bonn in 1959, I tried to address the issue, and I do not intend to repeat here what I said on that occasion, but I would like to describe at least briefly what was new about this second stage of dehellenization. Harnack's central idea was to return simply to the man Jesus and to his simple message, underneath the accretions of theology and indeed of hellenization: this simple message was seen as the culmination of the religious development of humanity. Jesus was said to have put an end to worship in favour of morality. In the end he was presented as the father of a humanitarian moral message. Fundamentally, Harnack's goal was to bring Christianity back into harmony with modern reason, liberating it, that is to say, from seemingly philosophical and theological elements, such as faith in Christ's divinity and the triune God. In this sense, historical-critical exegesis of the New Testament, as he saw it, restored to theology its place within the university: theology, for Harnack, is something essentially historical and therefore strictly scientific. What it is able to say critically about Jesus is, so to speak, an expression of practical reason and consequently it can take its rightful place within the university. Behind this thinking lies the modern self-limitation of reason, classically expressed in Kant's "Critiques", but in the meantime further radicalized by the impact of the natural sciences. This modern concept of reason is based, to put it briefly, on a synthesis between Platonism (Cartesianism) and empiricism, a synthesis confirmed by the success of technology. On the one hand it presupposes the mathematical structure of matter, its intrinsic rationality, which makes it possible to understand how matter works and use it efficiently: this basic premise is, so to speak, the Platonic element in the modern understanding of nature. On the other hand, there is nature's capacity to be exploited for our purposes, and here only the possibility of verification or falsification through experimentation can yield ultimate certainty. The weight between the two poles can, depending on the circumstances, shift from one side to the other. As strongly positivistic a thinker as J. Monod has declared himself a convinced Platonist/Cartesian.

This gives rise to two principles which are crucial for the issue we have raised. First, only the kind of certainty resulting from the interplay of mathematical and empirical elements can be considered scientific. Anything that would claim to be science must be measured against this criterion. Hence the human sciences, such as history, psychology, sociology and philosophy, attempt to conform themselves to this canon of scientificity. A second point, which is important for our reflections, is that by its very nature this method excludes the question of God, making it appear an unscientific or pre-scientific question. Consequently, we are faced with a reduction of the radius of science and reason, one which needs to be questioned.

I will return to this problem later. In the meantime, it must be observed that from this standpoint any attempt to maintain theology's claim to be "scientific" would end up reducing Christianity to a mere fragment of its former self. But we must say more: if science as a whole is this and this alone, then it is man himself who ends up being reduced, for the specifically human questions about our origin and destiny, the questions raised by religion and ethics, then have no place within the purview of collective reason as defined by "science", so understood, and must thus be relegated to the realm of the subjective. The subject then decides, on the basis of his experiences, what he considers tenable in matters of religion, and the subjective "conscience" becomes the sole arbiter of what is ethical. In this way, though, ethics and religion lose their power to create a community and become a completely personal matter. This is a dangerous state of affairs for humanity, as we see from the disturbing pathologies of religion and reason which necessarily erupt when reason is so reduced that questions of religion and ethics no longer concern it. Attempts to construct an ethic from the rules of evolution or from psychology and sociology, end up being simply inadequate.

Before I draw the conclusions to which all this has been leading, I must briefly refer to the third stage of dehellenization, which is now in progress. In the light of our experience with cultural pluralism, it is often said nowadays that the synthesis with Hellenism achieved in the early Church was a preliminary inculturation which ought not to be binding on other cultures. The latter are said to have the right to return to the simple message of the New Testament prior to that inculturation, in order to inculturate it anew in their own particular milieux. This thesis is not only false; it is coarse and lacking in precision. The New Testament was written in Greek and bears the imprint of the Greek spirit, which had already come to maturity as the Old Testament developed. True, there are elements in the evolution of the early Church which do not have to be integrated into all cultures. Nonetheless, the fundamental decisions made about the relationship between faith and the use of human reason are part of the faith itself; they are developments consonant with the nature of faith itself.

And so I come to my conclusion. This attempt, painted with broad strokes, at a critique of modern reason from within has nothing to do with putting the clock back to the time before the Enlightenment and rejecting the insights of the modern age. The positive aspects of modernity are to be acknowledged unreservedly: we are all grateful for the marvellous possibilities that it has opened up for mankind and for the progress in humanity that has been granted to us. The scientific ethos, moreover, is - as you yourself mentioned, Magnificent Rector - the will to be obedient to the truth, and, as such, it embodies an attitude which belongs to the essential decisions of the Christian spirit. The intention here is not one of retrenchment or negative criticism, but of broadening our concept of reason and its application. While we rejoice in the new possibilities open to humanity, we also see the dangers arising from these possibilities and we must ask ourselves how we can overcome them. We will succeed in doing so only if reason and faith come together in a new way, if we overcome the self-imposed limitation of reason to the empirically verifiable, and if we once more disclose its vast horizons. In this sense theology rightly belongs in the university and within the wide-ranging dialogue of sciences, not merely as a historical discipline and one of the human sciences, but precisely as theology, as inquiry into the rationality of faith.

Only thus do we become capable of that genuine dialogue of cultures and religions so urgently needed today. In the Western world it is widely held that only positivistic reason and the forms of philosophy based on it are universally valid. Yet the world's profoundly religious cultures see this exclusion of the divine from the universality of reason as an attack on their most profound convictions. A reason which is deaf to the divine and which relegates religion into the realm of subcultures is incapable of entering into the dialogue of cultures. At the same time, as I have attempted to show, modern scientific reason with its intrinsically Platonic element bears within itself a question which points beyond itself and beyond the possibilities of its methodology. Modern scientific reason quite simply has to accept the rational structure of matter and the correspondence between our spirit and the prevailing rational structures of nature as a given, on which its methodology has to be based. Yet the question why this has to be so is a real question, and one which has to be remanded by the natural sciences to other modes and planes of thought - to philosophy and theology. For philosophy and, albeit in a different way, for theology, listening to the great experiences and insights of the religious traditions of humanity, and those of the Christian faith in particular, is a source of knowledge, and to ignore it would be an unacceptable restriction of our listening and responding. Here I am reminded of something Socrates said to Phaedo. In their earlier conversations, many false philosophical opinions had been raised, and so Socrates says: "It would be easily understandable if someone became so annoyed at all these false notions that for the rest of his life he despised and mocked all talk about being - but in this way he would be deprived of the truth of existence and would suffer a great loss". The West has long been endangered by this aversion to the questions which underlie its rationality, and can only suffer great harm thereby. The courage to engage the whole breadth of reason, and not the denial of its grandeur - this is the programme with which a theology grounded in Biblical faith enters into the debates of our time. "Not to act reasonably, not to act with logos, is contrary to the nature of God", said Manuel II, according to his Christian understanding of God, in response to his Persian interlocutor. It is to this great logos, to this breadth of reason, that we invite our partners in the dialogue of cultures. To rediscover it constantly is the great task of the university.



The Holy Father intends to supply a subsequent version of this text, complete with footnotes. The present text must therefore be considered provisional.

Copyright 2006 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana

Source: Vatican

  Category: Faith & Spirituality
  Topics: Iman (Faith And Belief), Pope  Values: Education
Views: 11073

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Older Comments:
we pray that Allah make him a muslim Allahumma amiin

Assalamualaikum wrbt and greetings to all friends,
Syukran, Jazakullah Khair to Brother Babandi A. Gumel from U.K for your earlier greetings to me. Yes, I understand that Muslims worldwide feel and view that the war on terror is the war on Islam. But on the same score not all westerners or even Americans agree with the President and their heads of government on this policy. That is why I have always distinguish between the US administration and the American people.

I shall give my opinion more on this later.

Happy Ramadhan Eid Mubarak Brother Babandi and also to all our Muslim Brothers and Sisters worldwide. May ALLAH ALMIGHTY accept the good deeds that we do in this approaching holy month and may ALLAH Forgive us from our sins and grant us HIS Rahmah and Baraqah, Insya ALLAH.



Assalamualaikum wrbt. and greetings to friends of other faith,

I intend to shed some jurisprudential views on this matter, on the immense contributions of Islam to the formation of International law. I belong to a profession in the legal world, and law is my training and discipline. I had the benefits of learning both the common law originated from England and the Islamic law.

It is worth noting that building upon the Quran and the Hadiths, Islamic experts contributed immensely to the writing of elaborate treaties as what we would call today " International law ". Even Spanish writers picked up many strands of early Islamic writings in developing a body of international law. King Alfonso the 10th. in 13th. century Spain wrote famous encyclopaedia on a law called " Siera Partidas " which relied heavily on Islamic writings.

And the famous Dutch proponent and writer of International Law i.e Grotious ( 18th. century ) views came much later than the International norms and conducts promulgated by Islamic jurists. Grotious is known as the Father of International Law in as far as that discipline is concerned in the western world.

Islamic law emphasise on honouring treaties, as much as Grotious axiom of the " Pacta sunt servanda " i.e treaties must be honoured. On the same scale, Islam also honours lives and dignity of all people. ( see Professor Christopher G. Weeramantry views on Islamic jurisprudence - some interesting perspective ( 1989 ) Macmillian ).

I may write again later to contribute my views on the need for Muslims to go back and see for themselves on how Islam honours lives and respect the dignity of not just man, it does more than that.

Islam uplifts the dignity of mankind.




Assalamualaikum wrbt.

Alhamdulillah Brother Yusuf, and Insya Allah let us forgive one another as well. In fact the approaching of the Ramadhan is the best time to renew our sense of Islamic Brotherhood.

Insya ALLAH, I pray to ALLAH the Most Merciful and Compassionate to accept all our goods deeds for the coming Ramadhan, and to pardon and forgive all our sins.

Alhamdullilah Brother Yusuf, I am proud to have a Muslim brother like you who has the courage to state your stand, in defense of one of the principle that Islam stands for, i.e the respect of all religion.

Jazakullah khair' an Kathi' ra.


Your Brother in Islam,


The pope insists on the pagan greek system as the basis of so-called christian thought. Read his whole speech.

"This inner rapprochement between Biblical faith and Greek philosophical inquiry was an event of decisive importance not only from the standpoint of the history of religions, but also from that of world history - it is an event which concerns us even today. Given this convergence, it is not surprising that Christianity, despite its origins and some significant developments in the East, finally took on its historically decisive character in Europe. We can also express this the other way around: this convergence, with the subsequent addition of the Roman heritage, created Europe and remains the foundation of what can rightly be called Europe."

The pagan greek goddess Europa mated with Zeus(Dios)when he appeared on earth as a bull. What does the bible say about bestiality? Who was Dionysius Exiguus and his Dionysiana? Why do you have christian clergy named Dionysius? Discuss the evil man-god Dionysus and his cult. The aramaic Messiah wasn't greek and called the one God "Allaha"! How about the debate(Mubahila-a spiritual contest invoking the curse of Allah upon the liar) between Prophet Muhammad(pbuh) and the christians from Najran? The chief monk Abdul Mashih saw the Prophet and his daughter Fatima, grandsons Hasan and Husain and son-in-law Ali. He changed his mind and told the group of christians "O believers in Isa of Nazareth, I will tell you the truth that ye fail to enter into some agreement with Muhammad and if these godly souls whom Muhammad hath brought with him, curse you, ye will be wiped out of existance to the last day of the life of the earth." They agreed with their leader and beseeched the Holy Prophet(pbuh) to give the idea of Mubahila, requested to be allowed to practice their faith-offering to pay the Jizya-the Protection Tax. For more details read, From Dionysus to Jesus, Exposing Christianity's Man-god, published by A.S. Noorde

Peace to my brothers and sisters in Islam, and our friends who are people of the book. As muslims we know we must have suspicion for good. It seems that alot of people have reacted to what they were told was aninsult, without bothering to check if this was true. Has no one actually read this speech? There was no personal attack or inferred slander of muslims, and when muslims could prove their superiority by reasoned response, instead we are being reactionary and accusatory. There was a great deal more insult to hellenic (greek) thought than there was directed critique of Islam.
Also the Pope's apology really consisted of being sorry for the misunderstanding on the part of muslims, and not an apology or taking of personal responsibility for an insult (perceived or intended). I want to be proud of the sharp minds of my brothers and sisters, the forgiving and reasonable hearts-not semi-embarrassed by a knee-jerk reaction without investigation of the facts. The speech really didn't focus on muslims at all. It was a theological critique of the thought processes of catholics and how and why they interpert their own faith. Peace peeps

Aslaamu Alaikum Brother Kris, my email wasnt worded very well.

'Kris, I agree with you.' This was the bit that was meant for you.

The rest was meant to be addressed to the rest of us, me included.

Kris, I am totally supporting your efforts to calm the situation down. Jazakullallahu Khairun brother


This is from 2002
Ratzinger denies Christianity superior to Islam

The Vatican's Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger has reacted to "conventional wisdom" that "the Christian faith must give up its claim to truth" in the wake of 11 September.

The Prefect of the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith made his observations on Friday when addressing a conference in memory of Bishop Eugenio Corecco of Lugano, Switzerland, on the topic Faith, Truth and Tolerance.

Ratzinger praised Islam for upholding the values of monogamous marriage and the dignity of women, which "undoubtedly demonstrate a cultural superiority".

"It is true that the Muslim world is not totally mistaken when it reproaches the West of Christian tradition of moral decadence and the manipulation of human life," he said. "This imposes on us a serious examination of conscience."

"The truth of the Christian faith appears to us in all its depth, but we mustnt forget that, sadly, it has been darkened many times by the concrete behaviour of those who called themselves Christians," he said. "Islam has also had moments of great splendor and decadence in the course of its history. "

Cardinal Ratzinger stressed that it is "important is to go to the roots of the values proclaimed by the different religions". This, he said, is where "a real interreligious dialogue can begin".



Islam is special.
If you criticize religions as Buddhism,Hinduism,
Judaism and Christianity,it is perfectly okay.If
you say something intelligent,you may get an an-
swer,and nobody gets hurt.
If you criticize Islam,people will take to the
streets,burn flags,churches,embassies and hope-
fully kill somebody.
How come?
I feel free to criticize Islam and any other
religion for that matter,and I will not apologize

Assalamualaikum wbrt and greetings to all friends,

No matter how angry Muslims are, I believe that nothing justify the bombing of holy places of other religion, and not having a regard for the lives of their clergy priest and nuns.

I know that these was done by a small number of Muslims, but tell me if any of the true Islamic scholars would sanction those acts ?

I feel equal sadness in looking at the over reaction of a small number of Muslims. This is not what Islam stands for. I am speaking out against it on all fronts.

Just look at the hadith of the Prophet ( peace be upon him ), none in the hadith has ever approved of such reactions. Please bear this in mind my Muslim Brothers and Sisters.

In fact by accepting apology, it would be a turning point, that in future interfaith meetings we would come with a better sense of goodwill and earn their ( Catholics and other faith and religion ) degree of goodwill and understanding and appreciation as well.

Remember that on the contrary, it is found in many Prophetic traditions and sayings ( hadith ) on the beauty of the readiness to forgive people. Think and think again.

Wassalam and regards,

Is it not about time for the so-called Christians and atheists to stop demonizing their victims, who are asking nothing else but to defend their homeland, families and honor from the greed and cruelty of the so-called Christians and atheists? The answer to all this and to tell the truth, is yes it is about time.

Fake apology is not accepted. The pope, a man of that stature, ought to rally the world against the aggression of the Muslim lands or any land, fight the real evil in America and Europe he is currently supporting whole heartedly, bring back the European Jews against whom his own country have committed unspeakable atrocities for ages, and which his predecessors supported three generations ago, while true Christians gave their own lives and wealth to end the insanity, well almost end it. Give them back their homes, their wealth and respect their dignity, but don't keep them in Palestine where they will never find peace until they go back from where they have been thrown out. Fake apologies will not work period

As for those who are upset and display extreme zeal by hurting innocents and destroying places of worship, they are not responsible for the venom thrown at you. Beware of transgressing the Law of Allah soubhanahou,

Let us not be nave. The pope knew exactly what he is saying, and knew exactly why he is saying what he said. The pope full speech is written in advance, and reviewed by a team of clerics and politicians; the speech scenario is rehearsed prior to being made public. If the pope does not know much about a given religion besides his, he should limit his public statements to the one he adheres to and which he supposedly knows and follows.

The pope conveniently forgot that he is a member of a community that inflicted atrocities throughout the ages and vilified humanity with great cruelty since Europe embraced Christianity, and I know and strongly believe that true Christianity, and the true teaching of Jesus Christ, son of Mary, peace and blessing on both of them, are innocent from the atrocities, sadism and perpetual and insane violence of their so-called followers.

It is a real shame but, is it not time for the pope and for other so-called Christians to direct their evangelical efforts towards their decadent society, where religion is laughed at, stomped at, and trashed. Is it not about time for these evangelists to stop inventing lies against a religion that is closer to the one they supposedly follow, than any other religion on the face of the Earth? Is it not about time these evangelists show respect for (or at least leave alone) people that have more love and an extreme sincere and deep respect for all the Prophets than themselves? May the peace and blessing of Allah be upon them all. . Is it not about time for the Church to direct the missionaries toward the idolaters, the fetishists, and the atheists, instead of annoying the Muslims who believe in One and Only God, in all His messengers, in Jesus Christ, and who believe in the preference of Virgin Mary, and her status she holds above all the women in the Universe? May the peace of Allah be upon them both.

Assalamualaikum wrbt and greetings to all.

Again I demand an answer from Yusuf ? Where did I resort to attack the Catholics theology and beliefs ? In which e-mail response ? You are confused because you didn't read carefully.

Please don't confuse yourselves and read properly, especially at other e-mail writers. And your choice of words , this knee jerk reaction is down right rude to some extend. I am offended by your accusations.

In all my e mail response, I have call upon patient and restraint on all, and to respect all holy places of different faith. I even gave examples of the practices of Prophet Muhammad ( peace be upon him ).


Assalamualaikum wrbt and greetings to concerned Catholics.

Yusuf, I have never reacted to a knee jerk reaction in any of my articles here. Look at all of them , in my earlier ones, I was delving with historical events and these are factual. In my last 3 articles I am asking Muslims to accept the Pope's apology. Have you read carefully in all my e-mail response ?

I am asking for restraint from Muslims, and I call for respect of holy places and the clegry of the Christains. Where and what is this " knee jerk " reaction that you are talking about ? Not only I have Catholics friends, I was educated in Roman catholic Missionary school and I understand Catholics better and surely I respect them more as well. Can you now please clarify to me which views did I hold that sounded disrespect to the Roman Catholic faith ?

Please be very careful in believing what you see in the media regarding Muslims. The media thrives on the division it creates among the religious faiths.

You are right to wonder about Muslims who respond in violence. But don't stop there. Really look at who they are talking about and how many they are talking about. (in the media)

From my research, less than 1% of the Muslims adhere to those extreme beliefs. And please if I'm wrong about this, someone correct me.

So you have a BILLION Muslims and about 1/2% adhere to the extremism we see displayed in the news.

How can we paint an entire religion, based on what 1/2% of the people do?

Yes, the squeakiest wheel gets the most attention. But you have to look deeper to find the truth sometimes.

As a Catholic, I do not want people to hold my Church responsible for the actions of Jim Jones or David Koresh. It would be unfair and unjust because neither of these men practiced Catholicism but they took the Bible and used it as their source.

There are many complicated issues this world now faces. And we need to come together with Muslims to address the many injustices perpetrated on all people, whether they be Christian, Jews and yes Muslims. We cannot ONLY look at ourselves and see the injustices. We must also consider the injustices that have been committed against Muslims too.

This is what my faith teaches me. Justice for ALL, not just SOME.

Mother Theresa didn't just minister to Catholics only. She ministered to anyone who needed her.

WE need to build bridges, not burn them down. That means ignoring the extreme element in any religion and coming together in the common cause for all.

I know there are Muslims who support this, because I have Muslims in my own family whom I love dearly and who love me, as a Catholic, just the same.

Preach the peace and lead by example. Sometimes you cannot effect the world, but you can sure effect th

The emperor's motivation at least at the time seems to have been purely defensive. Whereas the pope's seems to be somewhat more competitive. Basically I find it easier to endure character assassination from people my group is trying to overthrow than from people my group would just as soon ignore.

I feel that it is unfortunate that people in power are so determined on belittling islam. People fear what they dont understand and instead of critizing everyone should try to understand that islam is not going away. It is the fastest growing religion especially amongst women. The government and people in power are trying to turn the world against islam and make it seem like its bad and immoral but they are ignorant. It is painful and unfair to people who believe in allah and walk with him daily. Islam is here to stay and if it was so evil why would so many people be converting to islam. Its disrespectful and degrading to the muslim community. And I know it would be an uproar if someone said anything negative about jesus.(pbuh) But the ignorant statements about islam are bring our community together and making us strong as ever!

i want to believe that islam is a religion of peace but i find it disturbing and difficult to understand the way its followers violently respond. Civilized and educated persons think before they act. it seems that there is a deep crisis in islam; that which speaks of peace and that which promotes violence. While the west tries to respect muslim sensibilities, muslims must also respect christian sensibilities. The pope issued an apology, but has the imams and mullahs did the same after the burning of churches, badmouthing the pope and even insulting our God? Faith and reason must go hand in hand not faith and violence. This is what the pope is teaching us including islam!

Salaam Alaikum,

Kris, I agree with you. Yes, we are hurt by this but should look at this as an opportunity to educate the Global Community about Islam. I dont think we should use this as an opportunity to attack their theology. They have a right to their beliefs. Lets be proActive and not resort to knee jerk reactions.

Salaam to everyone.A few months ago pictures of rasool Muhammad s.a.w. were posted which angered the muslim world.Once again muslims were insulted.I pray that Allah forgives those who were involved in the killings and place sabr in the heart of their families.May Allah forgive the pope for what he said.It also hurts to see the manner in which our brothers and sisters handled this,with burning of churches and harming of fellow human beings.Nabi Isa a.s. brought the message of christianity.As a muslim im hurt to see how we as Gods creation has forgotten a very important fact of respecting our fellow mans religion.If the pope had this part of character he would have known the response it would stir.Dear muslims let us be the people of truth by showing our respect.We might not agree with the lifestyle of a particular person but let us agree with the person.Remember that one of the pillars of Imaan is all good and bad comes from Allah.Let us try to change the perseption people may have of us.We are people of compassion and love and the world will not know this until we show it.

Years ago I used to believe what the media was dishing out in the US. As a Catholic I couldn't understand why Muslims were committing terrorist acts against Israelis. Then 9/11 came and I figured it was a good time to really look at the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. I turned to my Church for guidance on this issue. I began reading from a Priest in San. Fran. Fr. Labib Kobti http://www.al-bushra.org
who opened my eyes to my own ignorance. It was through the Catholic Church that I soon discovered the injustices that have been perpetrated upon the Palestinians. I met with the Palestinians at his Church in San Fran. and it was quite an eye opener. It is through the Church that I discovered how Palestinians had been mistreated over the past 60 years. It was the Catholic Church that has spoken out against the injustices at the hands of the Israelis that woke me up.
Yes the Church condemns terrorist violence, as it should but the CHurch also helped open my eyes to the other side we never hear about. The side that many Muslims would like us to understand. I do now understand and I understand because of the Catholic Church.

To John: You are wrong about the Catholic Church supporting Zionism: I took out one paragraph so it would fit in this post, but please go to Zenit to read it in its entirety and please read more from Patriarch Michael Sabbah a Palestinian Catholic. I can assure you THAT THIS IS the BELIEF of the POPE:

Religious Leaders' Statement on Christian Zionism
"We Stand for Justice. We Can Do No Other"

JERUSALEM, AUG. 30, 2006 (Zenit.org).- Here is "The Jerusalem Declaration on
Christian Zionism" released Aug. 22. The statement was written by Latin
Patriarch Michel Sabbah of Jerusalem and other local heads of Churches in

"Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God."
(Matthew 5:9)

Christian Zionism is a modern theological and political movement that
embraces the most extreme ideological positions of Zionism, thereby becoming
detrimental to a just peace within Palestine and Israel.

We categorically reject Christian Zionist doctrines as false teaching that
corrupts the biblical message of love, justice and reconciliation.

We further reject the contemporary alliance of Christian Zionist leaders and
organizations with elements in the governments of Israel and the United
States that are presently imposing their unilateral preemptive borders and
domination over Palestine.

This inevitably leads to unending cycles of violence that undermine the
security of all peoples of the Middle East and the rest of the world.

We reject the teachings of Christian Zionism that facilitate and support
these policies as they advance racial exclusivity and perpetual war rather
than the gospel of universal love, redemption and reconciliation taught by
Jesus Christ.

My Peace Be With You All
John: I totally agree with the view that the Pope knew exactly what kind of response he would get. World Leaders, any political figures, and most public speakers in general plan very carefully what they say to their audience and often have a lot of input from people who specialise in this. Come on, lets not kid ourselves!
Dan: See above. I dont believe the "Muslim Council of Britain" really believe in what they've said. Sadly, they're just desperately trying to find a way to say "Phew, we're all friends again" rather than, at the VERY LEAST "No, what you said was highly offensive and if you're genuinely sorry, We suggest you reconsider your style of speach in future".

Thanks for sharing, brother Abdullah, but I wanted to point out that alpha and omega is Greek for first and last. Or rather maybe beginning and end. Which is similar to Quran 57:3, "He is the First (al-Awwal) and the Last (al-Akhir)..." The phrase alpha (or perhaps it's aleph) and omega is found in Revelation 1:8, "I am the Alpha and the Omega (says the Lord God)," and again in Revelation 22:13, "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End," which Christians believe was recited by Isa sometime after his ascension.


I think Pope is uneducated one, isn't he? he doesn't need to apologize to muslims but to God. what he has said was more than a slander. and slander is more cruel than killing. he should have been ashamed of himself if he had known what kind of person Muhammad (the apostle og God)is.

According to The Catholic Encyclopedia, the Crusades were expeditions undertaken to deliver the Holy Places from Mohammedan tyranny. Reading on, it seems a crusade is basically any war directed against Mohammedans, pagans, heretics and those under the ban of excommunication. However it goes on to say that in modern times the word "crusade" has been abused.

I've noticed some Catholics seem 'inspired' by a pope with the integrity to say in public what the world's Muslims supposedly misunderstood him to say. But please don't get me wrong. For whatever reason I enjoy informative conversations even with religious extremists.

For some reason their website seems unresponsive at the moment. But their page on the crusades is:

Jazakallah Kris who reminded us about the teachings of the Prophet and Sayyidina Umar that there should be no retribution or vengeance this is also the teachings of Jesus yet what we have seen in the World since the introduction of the war on terror only muslims have become the victims of this war and it has no end.When shall we start dialouge that is the only way forward and wars are not solution to humanity,peace which Moses,Jesus and Muhammad Alaihimus Salam brought will continue to reign.If there is a will there is a way the only way is dialouge and not hatred as I can see from the points made by many objective Christians including our brother from Sweden and many more others in this Forum.Why the Muslims are angry about the statement imagine if a Muslim leader says Jesus brought evil to humanity (nauzu billah)how would it be taken and the one who said it is not ignorant nor is he only political leader but religious and spiritual his followers are expected to take example from him.So if he said this obviously whatever happens is only caused due to this unfortunate ranting.Anyhow let us move forward and let by gone be by gone but next time we have to be careful not offend Muslims unnecsarily and after offending them then you blame them and say they are trouble makers,they are only defending their rights,they know their fundemental human rights even before the United Nations enshrined these rights in its charter.Wa Akhiri Daawana Anil Hamdu Lillahi Rabbil Alameen

The pope promotes the pagan Greek idea of God as a bird and a man, blesses with the hand sign of the Dionysus fertility cult then claims to be Christ's vicar on earth! How can you take the pope seriously who claims to turn water and wine into the Messiah's blood then drink it and a wafer of bread into Messiah's flesh then eat it to get the power of a spirit? Rather than lecture to Muslims about violence, how about removing the pagan greek legacy from the christian religion. Maybe then the religion will be more in line with what the Messiah Isa taught and less about Zeus and Dionysus! And while he is at it, he should request that the the name Europe be changed as it is an insult to christians. Imagine naming your tribal homeland and people after a mythical pagan greek goddess that was Zeus's consort when he came to earth as a bull! Shame on your greek legacy of Dios (Zeus), Logos, alpha and omega, swine and wine consuption as well as the worship of a man-god and the mythical white dove bird-god! Tell us what was the reason there were popes named Dionysius when this name gives glory to a homosexual, demonic and drunkard man-god? I'm sure as a scholar of ancient texts, the pope can answer these questions as to the reason for this kind of faith.

Assalamualaikum wrbt. And greetings to all especially concerned Catholics.
I take this opportunity to take the non Muslim writers, especially the catholics, who had been e-mailing their views on their perspective of Islam. I am touch to know that there is a deep respect for the Islamic faith, and at the same time I believe that true Muslims harbour the same respect for Catholics and other religion as well.

Thank you e-mail writers, notably Fredrick from Sweden, then a Catholic Friend and another writer John from the USA for your constructive views. And of course to all muslim e-mail writers, on your views as well.

Again I call upon all Muslims, to accept the Pope's apology, and they must accept such in good faith. At the same time I reminded all to respect holy places and their religious priest and nuns, for this is one of the principles that Islam stands for.

Remember the practices of Sayidina Umar ( r.a ) in reminding Muslim armies to have the highest respect for places of worships of all religion, civilians, women and children, the old and the sick and the prisoners of war. That was in war time. And remember that even the present experts in Middle and Oriental Studies in the Oxford university have a high regard for the conduct of the centuries ago Muslim armies particularly the humanity that they had shown in battles. I shall write more on this later.

Please remember too that our Prophet Muhammad ( s.a.w ) have a high degree of respect for the People of the Scriptures.

Therefore, please, if you want to adhere to the true Islamic teachings, there must be no vengeance in your hearts.




The Muslim Council of Britain welcomed the Pope's explanation. A spokesman said: "We very much welcome the Pope's statement today in which he made it clear that his own views do not in any way accord with those of the 14th century emperor. This is a very important clarification that we had been seeking. Had this caveat been included in the Pope's original speech it may have prevented this controversy in the first place."


The Pope knew precisely what kind of response his remarks would create: that's why he said what he said.
He is behaving more like the NEO-CON.
Bush and Blair must be smiling right now and also the Zionist regime.

Fredrik Gyllstad you say Pope Benedict hates Muslims and Islam. Yet everything points to the contrary.
In order for Pope Benedict to become Pope, he MUST believe the Catechism of the Catholic Church which states:
841 The Church's relationship with the Muslims. "The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims; these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind's judge on the last day."
You then go on to argue against the violence by the west aimed at Muslims around the world. Yet it is the Catholic Church who has vocally AGREED with you. It was Pope John Paul II who went to G. Bush and told him NOT to go to war in Iraq. The CHurch is VERY vocal on Israeli aggression towards Palestinians. You are very wrong on your assessment of this Pope and the Church. The Church is a friend to Islam and Muslims and I'm saddened by this attempt to divide this relationship.

The central point of the Pope's presentation at the university, Father Lombardi said, was that the tendency to dismiss religious attitudes and arguments is a serious flaw in Western thought today. http://www.cwnews.com/news/viewstory.cfm?recnum=46473

It is truely unfortunate that once again the Islamic world proves the point of the Emperors dialoge. I am sorry but I can't see that words hurt, or that any words or cartoons require the burning of churches and martyrdom of a 65 year old Nun. Religion of peace?

Granted the Holy Father's speech left out the fact that all religions have a violent past (the crusades, the inquiaitions and pick any war in the middle east) I am at a loss for the reason for all of the violence it has started. His statement was true in any context. All faiths need to look hard at themselves and see why others view them in a particual way then go out into the world to change those things that have caused it. Violence is not the answer. We will all never live in any kind of peace as long as we lash out violently at eachother. Like we teach our children "sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me."
In Peace

I am a catholic. I've been educated to the respect of all people whaterver they come from, whatever they think. Seeing all that people that burns picture of Pope bendicts will strenghten my faith and my hope says that God (yours is ours) will punish who uses religion to do his dirty affairs. The world is astonished of all that violence. God bless all of us.

I don't quite follow the Pope's comments on Islam. With the exception of a following of few drunk and stoned rednecks and bible thumping loonies awaiting rapture, Bush's interpretation of history is appreciated by only the sadistic clowns in his entourage. With the exception of Saddam's misadventure in Kuwait (and even that was with a nod and a wink from our government when Saddam was our darling child, Kuwait had to be punished for daring to encourage OPEC to raise prices), in modern history, invasions, brutality, murder, mayhem, genocide, ethnic cleansing are the hallmarks of us Christians and our lovely Christian faith (Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq, Panama, Haiti, S. Korea, Japan an dVietnam to name a few examples). Lets lay it out simple and honest. We want that oil. We cannot even concieve walking to work or doing with one car or eating 2 meals a day - its the American way of life. We can't give that up. So we wipe out millions of Muslims just so that only we can survive you see, because we are Christians and White other people and races and religions don't matter.

Moses (PBUH) conveys Gods command go fight the holywar. Jews disobeyed. Then punished for 40 years.

From web site:http://www.edume.org/reports/13/33.htm

Two men of their leaders who feared God, and He had bestowed upon them faith and obedience, said: "Enter the city gate against the giants by surprise, for if you do that you will have victory over them, and trust God."[But] they insisted on disobeying and said: "O Moses, we shall not enter this land so long as the giants are in it. Let us be and go, you and your Lord, and fight the giants. We shall stay in this place." There is in this phrase - as we see - disrespect in their speech toward God and His messenger. Then Moses fled to his Lord saying: "O Lord, I have no power over anyone, except myself and my brother, so judge between us and these stubborn and stupid people in your justice." God answered Moses' wish and forbade those disobedient ones to enter this holy land for forty years, during which they would wander in the land, rove in the desert, and would not be guided in any direction in order to get out of it. God said to Moses comforting him: "Do not grieve for what has befallen them because they disobeyed God's command and they deserve His punishment."

(Key words victory, diobeyed , fight, punished )

After reading this woefully long opinion of the Pope I fail to understand the purpose behind his comments? If it was to point to the hostile attitude of the Crusaders then why did he not criticise the statement to demonstrate his position? I can see why Muslims are angry. Its not enough that in this day and age we invade their lands, rob their oil, rape their women and children, lock up thousands on baseless charges and many on no charges at all, lie and try to hide our torture and murder of Muslim prisoners, mine their lands, poison their rivers and lakes and bomb their hospitals and city infrastructures and deprive them of every basic human right and yet have the gall to follow further our emulation of these medieval crusades by also quoting racist and vile words of hate from an age of darkness and ignorance. Is the man the Pope or the Poop ?

If the world of rational Muslims don't speak up to stop this insanity, I fear we are headed to a tragic blood bath. I feel that most Muslims do not agree with these the extreme position taken by these radicals,but somehow you need to do what you can to stop this before it's too late.

Michelle, if the Pope quoted an ancient historic statement, however absurd, simultaneously disavowing and condemning such a profoundly war mongering, elitist and racist statement common amongst Christian crusaders of the time, then his words would have had a very constructive and healing effect on the relationship between these two faiths . However what he did was use stupid ancient words by medieval Islam hating crusading Christian leader to justify his own personal dislike and hate for Islam and Muslims. As the Pope is not very bright, maybe like Bush he too needs someone else to write his speeches or maybe wear a teleprompter as Bush did in his State of the union speech in 2004 http://bushwired.blogspot.com/2004/10/was-george-bush-wired-in-debate-what.html What I would question why do Americans and the Europeans consistently deny that all the violence they observe in Muslim countries is a consequence of Western imposed forced reforms to benefit Western interests and Western sponsored dirty violent politics to ensure that only their card is played. Violence in Islamic countries has absolutely nothing to do with the dictates of Islam but everything to do with what we are doing to these people, their lives, their countries and their economies all to pursue our own economic and security interests. We in the West need to seriously examine our moral claims and policies. We violate every principal of democracy ourselves and yet are trying to force feed Muslims the same rot?

Cardinal Bertone on Islamic Reaction to Pope's Address
"The Church Regards With Esteem Also the Muslims"

VATICAN CITY, SEPT. 17, 2006 (Zenit.org)

Given the reaction in Muslim quarters to certain passages of the Holy Father's address at the University of Regensburg, and the clarifications and explanations already presented through the director of the Holy See press office, I would like to add the following:

-- The position of the Pope concerning Islam is unequivocally that expressed by the conciliar document "Nostra Aetate": "The Church regards with esteem also the Muslims. They adore the one God, living and subsisting in himself; merciful and all-powerful, the Creator of heaven and earth, who has spoken to men; they take pains to submit wholeheartedly to even his inscrutable decrees, just as Abraham, with whom the faith of Islam takes pleasure in linking itself, submitted to God.

"Though they do not acknowledge Jesus as God, they revere him as a prophet. They also honor Mary, his virgin mother; at times they even call on her with devotion. In addition, they await the day of judgment when God will render their deserts to all those who have been raised up from the dead. Finally, they value the moral life and worship God especially through prayer, almsgiving and fasting"

...for the rest..visit www.zenit.org
Cardinal Bertone on Islamic Reaction to Pope's Address

I also encourage you to read from Patriarch Michael Sabbah from the Church of the Nativity who is a Palestinian serving in the occupied territories.

The Church stands in respect of Islam and Muslims but there are those who seek to divide that relationship.


In the interest of dialogue, I think Pope Benedict meant the same thing Pope John Paul II meant when he said:
Reuters News Agency
Tuesday, September 25, 2001

ASTANA -- Pope John Paul said yesterday that terrorism profanes God and disfigures man and stressed that Roman Catholicism has great respect for "authentic Islam."

"I wish to reaffirm the Catholic Church's respect for Islam, for authentic Islam, the Islam that prays, that is concerned for those in need," he told a meeting of Kazakh intellectuals.

"Recalling the errors of the past, including the most recent past, all believers ought to unite their efforts to ensure that God is never made the hostage of human ambitions," he said.

"Hatred, fanaticism and terrorism profane the name of God and disfigure the true image of man."

The Pope was speaking in Kazakhstan. Its southern border is just over 300 kilometres from Afghanistan................
The country's 180,000 Catholics enjoy good relations with the country's eight-million-strong Muslim community.


Church's respect for authentic Islam
5. For their part, centres of education and culture can only gain from an openness to greater knowledge of the more vital and significant religious achievements in your nation's history. In my Message for the World Day of Peace on 1 January 2001, I spoke of the danger of a "slavish conformity" to Western culture, observing that "Western cultural models are enticing and alluring because of their remarkable scientific and technical cast, but regrettably there is growing evidence of their deepening human, spiritual and moral impoverishment. The culture which produces such models is marked by the fatal attempt to secure the good of humanity by eliminating God, the Supreme Good" (No. 9).

Again, let us listen to the great teacher Abai Kunanbai: "All people, whatever their religion, attribute to God love and justice. Love and justice are the origin of humanity. Those in whom sentiments of love and justice prevail are the truly wise" (Sayings of Abai, Chapter 45).

In this context, and precisely here in this Land of encounter and dialogue, and before this distinguished audience, I wish to reaffirm the Catholic Church's respect for Islam, for authentic Islam: the Islam that prays, that is concerned for those in need. Recalling the errors of the past, including the most recent past, all believers ought to unite their efforts to ensure that God is never made the hostage of human ambitions. Hatred, fanaticism and terrorism profane the name of God and disfigure the true image of man.


HALIM said:
Obviously the pope merely took his turn after authors, Danish newspaper, maybe after this president or prime minister will take their turn to insult Islam.The They are upset and desperate no serious challenge come from Muslims after they attacked Afghanistan and Iraq.If this is their logic to provoke Muslims then Iran surely their next target. This time Israel will lead USA to attack Iran. Wait and see.....

Pope is insearch for oil in Gulf & Darfor


Pope is attempting to please his neo-conservative masters in Bush Adminstration, who knows what charities he got in exchange for this partnership in "Axis of Spin".

The Vatican is nothing but pomp and ceremony. Can anyone imagine that a true spiritual leader utter such highly charged political garbage. Take Dalai Lama for example who I personally value as a spiritual leader. Would he say anything like this? Besides no Muslim leader has ever insulted Judaism or Christianity or any of their prophets, because we believe in all of them. If he took the time to read the Quran he would see that it has a lot in common with his own books, but ignorance and politics has blinded the man, as has become fashionable in our days. Blame Islam for the political actions of some of its adherents but truly who is killing who and what would Jesus have said about it? I hazard a guess that he would disown Papacy as it did not exist in Christ time nor did Christ ever came to establish such a hirarchy as evidenced by his teaching.

Assalamualaikum wrbt.

I say just accept the apology in good faith. Who knows, this may be the turning point for others to see that Muslims are peace loving people.

This may be the focal point of our ongoing strength, that in future dialogues with the Catholics, we may be able to create a better atmosphere and goodwill with them.

Please my Muslim Brothers and Sisters, let not hatred and vengeance had control over your best of judgments. Please respect holy places of other faith.

Insya Allah , ALLAH ALMIGHTY will reward you for your faith for being patient and restraint. Wassalam.

In the interest of dialogue what did the pope mean by:

'The emperor must have known that surah 2, 256 reads: "There is no compulsion in religion". According to the experts, this is one of the suras of the early period, when Mohammed was still powerless and under threat.'

Is the pope suggesting that Quran 2:256 no longer applied once Muslims had attained the advantage?

I think the Media is doing its duty even though we know they are in most cases bias against Muslims but is not question of falling in their hands as one Ann from US suggested but is a fact the Pope quoted it.That was the most important single sentence in the whole context of the speech if he did not mention the Prophet it would not be given prominence as it was given.Remember Allah has sealed the honour of the Prophet and any body who tries to dishonour him he will be disgraced or dishonoured>At least the Pope did the good thing by apologising unlike the arrogant Danish Newspaper which caused the furore of the cartoon,similarly Salman Rushdie and others like him who tried to used their fame to dishonour the Prophet and his Companions whoever does so will never be at peace.Rasulullah is the last Prophet of Allah after Jesus whether you accept or not he was the Prophet and he is the Prophet and he is going to be the Prophet up to the day of Judgement.When Jesus comes back before the end of the world he is not coming as a PRophet but he is coming as the follower of the Prophet which will surprise all the Christian World when he comes as a Muslim and not the Son of God as people are saying which he never said.May Allah give us guidance all to guide the mankind to the truth and nothing but the truth.

The Pope was misunderstood. He was quoting another individual. If I quote Stalin, it certainly doesn't mean I agree with Stalin. It's a ridiculous assumption to make and he's also said he did NOT agree with the quote.

The media seeks to divide. They used this opportunity to try to cause division among the Catholics and the Muslims. This is the same media who portrays Muslims in a very bad light. So why believe them over a man who respects Muslims and respects Islam?

not only is what the pope saying is an insult is also rude and very disrespectful to the Islamic community. You have to respect everyone's religion. You might not agree with some of the things that one's religion do, but it still does not give a person the right to say something SO DIGRADING, CRUEL, and UNTRUE about one's religion. Iam very UPSET and APPAULED on behalf of the Pope's comments and that's what's wrong with the world today we are so quick to judge one another that we don't take the time out to find out the real truth and that's why we are dumb and don't know anything

The Pope has no authority over our moral obligations as muslims. His "unintentional?" insult to the prophet and islam is unfortunate - since he represents all Catholics. His utterance and quotes of the emperor's obvious anti-muslim feelings as a starting point indicates his ignorance or prejudice against islam and the muslims. His sarcastic comment "experts knew" that the reason sura 2 / 256 regarding "no compulsion in religion" was brough forth was because Mohammed was still powerless shows his contempt for islam. The catholic church forced conversions violently here in latin america and caused the deaths of many innocent people. The catholic church headed the crusades that killed many muslims, christians and jews. The catholic church was responsible for the inqusition. How dare the pope insinuate that islam and muslims are coercive? Look at your own past first.

Stop spreading the lies about Islam being spread by the sword.

May Allah guide ALL mankind to justice and peace. Stop looking to any mere man for guidance seek the truth from GOD alone.

Assalamualaikum wrbt and greetings to all.
The Pope has already said that he is sorry and an apology is seen forthcoming. I believe that Muslims should accept it. Let us raise above all hatred and anger lest that we may forget that one of strength as Muslims is to display the best of example.

But having said so, again I travelled back through the passage of time in history and compared again the spread of other faith as well.
After the decline of the Muslim Empire, we have seen the emergence of other empires all over the world. The British Empire was said to be the dominance of western expansion to the East, followed by the Dutch and the Portuguese. These powers had intended all along to achieve their " glory, gold and gospel. "

The Spanish conquistadors came to South America for the same purpose. Thousands of Incans and Mayans were killed in these quest. The Dutch formed their V.O.C and had incursions to South East Asia. The Portuguese invaded part of the region, and introduced the Roman Catholic faith.

The British being the more secular of all those powers, went to Asia, the Middle East, the Pacific regions and too, brought their system of government and education styled after the Anglican syllabus. These were all done subtly or outrightly without any limits. Now, I am not saying that Christianity was spread by force.

But looking at those pages of history, wouldn't it be fair to say that those faith were spread by the might of the cannons and guns ? ( or goons too perhaps ? ) Why should Islam be given a different treatment in history ? Before Islam came to Europe, the continent was in their dark ages. This is a historical fact. Infact Islamic scholars had contributed immensely to the field of knowledge particularly mathematics, sciences and modern medicine.

In fact I say this again, during the time of the Inquisition, it was the Jews that fled to Muslim countries seeking protection from the excesses of the Christian crusaders. <

In response to pope's speech, in my view we should not ask for appology instead should invite
pope and his panel for a live tv debate with our
mufti/aalims so that the truth can come out who
has used sword/bombs to spread their beliefs and
get rid of that Islamophobia for good in the mindset of westeners. That Islam is a true peaceful religion.

I don't know how to put it. I am an athiest. Pope is a very learned old man. And still he makes this lecture. After 4 days, he tells, that these are not his ideas. If that was the case, then why did he not mention that in his original lecture.

May be, Pope represents the 'Taliban' wing of Roman Catholicism, which essentially means that dialogue with other religions (and especially with Islam) is not needed.

Please read this. The pope did not say he believed Mohammed was evil; he was quoting a Christian emperor to make a point on a larger issue. Read the article. He even said the quote was not his personal opinion. The pope does not want a Crusade. He was against the war in Iraq. The pope respects Islam and holds the same view Catholic Church does, that we worship the One God.

The pope wants a larger dialogue on peace with all religions. The pope loves all people, including Muslims. Some in the Muslim world misunderstand him, and some choose to misunderstand him so they can justify their hatred for Non-Muslims. Many are being mislead.

Why can't we live in peace? Why can't we love our neighbor and not seek to take revenge? We all know there are guilty people on all sides, but we each person has to decide whether they are going to live for love and forgiveness or hatred and revenge.

The pope truly wants peace and dialogue, and truly respects the Muslim world. Do not be confused. Do not misunderstand. There is a war for your mind and soul, and the devil is the enemy of us all.

God is love and I love you my friends.


NUR said:
The Pope speech certainly is not right. But as Muslims, we shouldn't over-react. What's the use of common sense if all we ever do is burn churches, kill nuns, and turn towards violence! Education! We lack Education! We let anger control our minds and our thoughts. Surely, there is a calm way to voice out our opinions. If Prophet Muhammad is still alive today, what would he do? Will he say to his people, "Go and kill the nuns, burn churches, and not forgive the Pope?" Pope is a human and we are humans too. Only Allah swt knows what's in his heart and his intentions! As for us, next time something like this happen, we should react in a better manner!

Muslims are very immature and crude for fighting the popes words with violence. If you wish to argue, do it with words, not with fire bombs and bullets. An innocent Catholic nun and her body guard were killed and churches fire bombed. You people are aweful!!!

This is nothing new! Almost 10 centuries ago Pope Urban II called Muslims as idol worshippers, savages in order to recruit soldiers for his bloody crusade which lasted for more than 300 years resulting with millions of people losing their lives. This Pope is much like Pope Urban II to a lesser extend. The truth stands strong more than ever.

'But whoever disputes with you in this matter after what has come to you of knowledge, then say: Come let us call our sons and your sons and our women and your women and our near people and your near people, then let us be earnest in prayer, and pray for the curse of Allah on the liars.(Qur'an 3:61)
Peace, logic, reason, faith, truth and no politics please.

Salam Alikcom to all my sisters and brothers who come across this. I'am very sorry for the problem that the poped caused every muslim around the world. This make me very upset, and I don't want anyone to think anything bad about the Italian people..... I am Italian american Muslima and very proud for my convert to Islam... I know what the pope said...I was thier at the time he said his speech in Italy... and it was HEART Breaking because I could not believe this would ever come from him, he is one person who has hatred in his past... we know this pope, and his remarks that he stated he " did not know what he was talking about" my dear sisters and brothers he has no knowledge about muslims what so ever..... I was thier the day he talked bad and said not truth about it! It is heart breaking and causes so many problems world wide, when I was thier listening to his speech the minute he started speaking non sense, that was the minute I left while standing in that big crowd!!! I left crying, mad, upset I wanted to say something but I left the popes speech and everyone was looking at me... when I returned home I asked allah to give this pope some " Rahma " please forgive my spelling I am a new muslim and still learning things... I hope that everyone will find peace in thier hearts insh'Allah. salam alikcom

Why Jews(12 tribes) were roaming in the desert for 40 years as a punishment from God?

Because they refused to fight the holy war. And did not entered the city and took over it for the purpose of spreading the message so that everyone can listen to the message, if he feels like. And they disobeyed God's command for a holy war.

Later after 40 years they fought and entered the city and were off the punishment.

The key thing:
Judiaism is a shariah (aka way of life or defined laws of daily lifestyle) like Islam. And Christianity does not involve this.

The initial followers of Moses (aka Musa (PBUH)) and Jesus (PBUH) who accepted the messages of the Prophets sincerely will go to heaven and will live their forever and enjoy now what's is coming for them, are infact the best among us (the humans).

As in islam we believe one never dies and humans only change their forms of state.


We as MUSLIMS need to react better and more Islamic. Around the world, it shows that we are going backward in Iman as Iman states to us to be patient in times of adversity and strong in times of need, but does strenght mean burning flags or part of churches. Muslims 'leaders' need to come up big and stich up the wound within the Ummah as Ummah has been weak for a long time now. Back in the days, a monk (Perfectus) slandered the Prophet (pbuh) in front of Muslims and at that time there was a Islamic Empire and penalty for such an act was death, but the Judge pardoned the monk as he was instigated by Muslim youth, but this monk resisted to keep slandering the Prophet (pbuh) until he received the penalty. Although it shows us that this type of behavior is not new, but the thing thats new is that we do Not have an Empire and we do not have judicial system. We need to follow the example from the Prophet (Pbuh) when he was cursed in one time when Abu Bakr lost it, and chased the man away, at that Prophet (Pbuh) became displeased and told Abu Bakr (Pbuh) that Angels were cursing at the man and they were with us, but when u lost restraint than the Angels left and ofcoure Prophets (pbuh) love to be around angels. Another instance when a jewish man grabbed the Prophets (Pbuh) shirt and nearly strangled him in FRONT of his companions, namely Omar. Omars face turned red in Anger and intimidated the man. As seeing this, the Prophet's (Pbuh) face was still lit with lite and patience as he told the man he will repay the debt and apologized. As the man left, the Prophet (Pbuh) turned his attention to Omar and said you should not have acted in anger and you intimidated the man, now GO TO HIM and repay the debt and make amends with him, so did Omar do and later Omar found out that the man was a Rabbi, who only wanted to test the Prophet (Pbuh) as Prophets are very patient.

Muslims need to have more restraint as bad behavior results in negative self image.

Pope Benedict said what was in his heart thru the quote 'He said, she said, Media said, Politician said and so on .., He is not a politician to read the speech which was written by his writer. Nonsense.

Pope Benedict has a Nazi's connection in past and trying to shift his hatred towards muslims and to please warlords and warlovers so that his past his overlooked. It is a disease has no cure.

Some sects in christianity say Mary commmited a sin and ....., some bibles say Jesus ordered to commit crimes against women and childrenand a lot of other things about Mary and Jesus. I will tell Pope benedict to use such quotes and speak out when he address his massand speeches around the world.

Some say there are anti-Christ people in the world and they are doing this because of it.Yes it may be true, but muslims are not anti-christ, because they believe in Jesus. The people who do not believe at all in him and the descendents of the people who killed Him(per christianity) may be the antichrist. Everybody knows the muslims had no part in that. Noone can deny.

Muslims believe in Jesus:
a) as one of the special prophets,
b) born to virgin Mary which was a holy miracle
c) did miracles as other prophets,
d) coming back before judgement day,
How come muslims are anti christ?

Jesus was created by Supreme God-ALLAH without father, as He created Adam without father and mother, and created Eve without mother. It is mentioned in detail about Jesus and Maryam in Quran (chapters Maryam and Al-Imran).

There are great non-muslim personalities, writers, scholars around the world who praise prophet Muhammad as a greatest person ever who has and will never have a match. He brought the message of GOD-ALLAH to all mankind, just as other prophets like Noah Abraham, Moses and Jesus, did at their times.

Stop this nonsense and read quran,Hadith and biography of Muhammad. Find the facts yourself and stop saying He said-she said-media said-Politicians

what is the use of the Pope apology. i do not believe that it was a slip of the tonuge.
he went and researched it,and declared it.
His apology will not erase his hatred for Islam.
why we moslems care about his apology.
we should ignore him and boycott whatever relations we have with the vatican.
this is my opinion,and it is more than clear that the POpe has a hateful feeling for our faith and we should not care about his apology.
amal al jurf

Asalaam alaikum, brothers and sisters,

Regarding the Pope's comments at the University of Regensburg, I believe his purpose was to provide evidence to fellow professors that Catholocism is the only reasonable and rational way of understanding God. To me, this is the greatest insult the Pope has casted, not only on Muslims, but other groups from the People of the Book. If I had the time and the space to tear apart the Pope's argument, I would; however, what is so shocking, especially after Pope John Paul worked to build bridges with Muslims--remember, even when Muslim nations refused to speak up, Pope John Paul objected to the war in Iraq!--is that a Pope could be so openly biased and hostile toward 1.3 billion Muslims. As a revert to Islam and previously a Christian, hostility is not a teaching either of Christianity or Islam--that is why I reverted to Islam because Islam shows that, throughout history, man has essentially been called to worship the one true God, Allah. While I'm shocked what the Pope said, I'm not completely surprised. From the very beginning, his purpose has been to strengthen the prominence of Christianity in Europe. Again, I know I'd evidence to support this claim, but, if you check his statements, you'll find it.
Brothers and sisters, while I abhor the Pope's diatribe, I cried when I read that Muslims had burned churches in the Middle East and had killed a nun in Somalia. Please, brothers and sisters, this behavior is unIslamic and unfortunately feeds into the Pope's stereotype that Muslims are naturally vioent, evil, and inhuman. Even when a few Muslims commit these atrocious actions, the media here in the United States will generalize that all Muslims are aggressive and violent, making life for Muslims everywhere more difficult and interfering with our attempts at Dawa. Please, please, please brothers and sisters. React to the Pope's comments through protest, speech, and in writing, not violence. May Allah guide us.

In the name of Allah the Beneficient the Merciful
Say:He is Allah the One,Allah the Eternal Absolute He begets not nor is He begotten and there is none like Him.That is simple teachings of the Prophet beleive in only one God but Christian brothers say three gods God the Father God the Son and the Holy Ghost.Is it not so?Now let us examine these two simple theology based on the Holiness lecture.At the end of the Lecture he quoted thus " Not to actreasonably not to act with logos is contrary to the nature of God" which is the Christian understanding of God.Now to say 1+1+1 is equal to one is it reasonable.Similarly saying God the Father then God the Son and the Holy Ghost is equal to Three Gods this is why the Christian believe in trinity which is three.Now is it reasonable to say is one how can it be one when we are talking of three.Before we start discussing first of all examine your own theology whether is right or not.Why do we makesay Jesus is Son of God.What is so special about him.The only thing we can say he was born without father which Allah created Adam without even father and mother and created Eve his wife without mother and Jesus without father and me and you with father and mother.So his example is like that of Adam or even Eve which is more miraculous who had no mother we can asume that her father was Adam but she got no mother and yet we don't call her the daughter of God.So the simple teachings of the Prophet is God is only one he begets not nor was he begotten and there is no comparism with him.This is rational teaching and simple message of Islam which is universal acceptable as reasonable which is the nature of God as quoted by the Pope.So the Prophet came to bring people out of darkness of superstition myths and other irrational thing believe in only one GOd with conviction and there is no god but God which is the simple message.

Perhaps this is time to reflect and ponder - however the pope with his authority and influence needs to validate himself - or he may just do what the bush administration does - blame it on faulty intelligence (oxymoron, if you really think about it)

As highlighted in the debates following the comments of The Pope, it is not simply what the Pope has said, even though it was by way of a quote from another, it is more about the intention of what he said that concerns me. This incident is worrying enough on its own, coming from the head of the Catholic Church, about a faith that is embraced by more and more people through intelectual reasoning, but even more so when you look at other recent events relating to Islam: 'Islamic Fascists' (George Bush at a time of Israeli invasion of Lebannon), the defamatory Cartoons of the Prophet Muhammed (pbuh) under the guise of 'Freedom of expression', the 'Evil Ideology' (Bush & Blair) a 'Crusade' (Bush)that a more clearer picture develops as to the driving force behind the comments and the calculated impact they were desired to have on those that follow the teachings of the last Messenger of Allah who openly praised & recognised all the rightly guided Prophets before him. In my opinion, nothing less than a full and unconditional apology should be accepted and a clear message sent to all to bring the 'fashionable' trend of Muslim & Islam bashing' to an immediate end.
M Ari

The Pope is calling for dialogue. The Vatican has an inter-religious council and has been seeking dialogue between different faiths for a long time. The Catholic Church has been very vocal in it's respect for Islam and that will not change. One must look at the deeper meaning that the Pope is trying to convey, instead of reacting to a media that is pursuing an agenda of "division". Don't play into the hands of the media who has consistently portrayed Muslims in a bad light. They seek to divide. If they can divide the Catholic Church from Muslms, they will have succeeded. The Church seeks just the opposite.