There is growing anger from Muslim leaders over Pope Benedict’s comments about Islam. In a speech at Germany’s University of Regensburg on Tuesday, Benedict quoted criticism of the religion and the prophet Mohammed by 14th Century Byzantine Emperor Manuel II. He repeatedly used Manuel’s argument that spreading the faith through violence is unreasonable, adding violence is incompatible with the nature of God.
His statement has been met by surprise by the head of Germany’s Muslim Central Council, Aiman Mazyek. He expressed concern that the head of the Catholic church would preach about extremism given its “history of “bloody crusades in the Muslim world, the expulsion of Muslims and Jews in Spain, and the Catholic church’s role in the Nazi regime.”
The Vatican says the Pope had not intended to carry out an “in-depth study of jihad (holy war) and Muslim thinking about it, or offend the sensitivity of the Muslim faithful”. But the statement shows little sign of quelling continued protests around the world. Pakistan’s parliament has now passed a resolution criticising the Pope for making “derogatory” comments.” The head of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt said the Pope’s remarks “aroused the anger of the whole Islamic world”.