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» 09/17/2006
ISLAM – VATICAN
Amid criticism and violence the first balanced views about the Pope's speech appear
Former Iranian President Khatami and current Indonesian President Susilo warn against jumping to conclusions.

Rome (AsiaNews) – Former Iranian President Mohammad Khatami said the full text of the Pope speech in Regensburg should be read before making any comments on its contents.

"I hope that the reports in this regard are misinterpreted as such remarks [as reported in the press] are usually made by uninformed and fanatic people but my impression of the pope was rather an educated and patient man," Khatami said after his return to Tehran from a two-week visit to the United States.

Khatami's is the first balanced statement to come out of the Muslim world with regard to the Pope's remarks about statements made by Manuel II Palaiologos, who said that the "new things" brought by Islam are only evil things.

Today during the Angelus, Benedict XVI again insisted that the Byzantine emperor's words do not reflect his views.

As made clear in yesterday's press release by the Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the text of the Pope's proclusion (inaugural address) shows that the Pontiff only wanted to express his "rejection of the religious motivation for violence, from whatever side it may come".

So far reactions in the Muslim world, which have ranged from outrage and criticism to violence, have been based solely on media excerpts. There are not as yet any translations of the Pope's speech into Arabic or any Eastern languages.

Like Iran's Khatami, Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has also been more balanced in his reaction. Speaking from Havana (Cuba) where he is attending a summit of non-aligned countries, he said that "Indonesian Muslims should have wisdom, patience, and self-restraint to address this sensitive issue. . . . We need them so that harmony among people is not at stake".

Susilo, who presides over the fate of the largest Muslim country in the world, urged the Holy See to "be very quick to respond this very sensitive issue by issuing some corrections and constructive gestures that would decrease tension" between Muslims and Christians.

In the meantime protests and violence continue in some parts of the Muslim world. Some 200 Iranian clerics and seminary students gathered on Sunday in Qom, 135 kilometres south of the capital Tehran, to protest against what they called anti-Islamic remarks by Pope Benedict XVI. In protest against the pope's remarks, the country's clergy seminary centre said all seminaries throughout the country would be closed on Sunday.

In the West Bank two churches suffered damages when stones and Molotov cocktails were thrown at them.


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See also
09/18/2006 LEBANON
Moderate voices in Lebanon urge people to read what the Pope actually said
09/20/2006 PAKISTAN – VATICAN
In Pakistan Christians and Muslims study Pope's speech together
by Qaiser Felix
09/18/2006 PAKISTAN
Pope only wants inter-faith harmony, Pakistani bishops say
by Qaiser Felix
09/18/2006 Vatican - islam
The Pope and eastern and western terrorism
by Bernardo Cervellera
09/18/2006 INDIA
A great sign of peace from the Pope, say Indian Muslim leaders
VATICAN - GERMANY
Pope: Faith and reason to escape violence and suicide of Enlightenment
VATICAN – ISLAM
The Pope's speech: lending Islam a helping hand to avoid a downward spiral
INDIA
Controversy about Pope and Islam useless, open to manipulation
VATICAN
Pope worried only about the "religious motivation of violence"
TURKEY – VATICAN
Pope's remarks misused by Islamo-nationalists, vicar apostolic says
TURKEY -VATICAN
Islamic nationalists in Turkey protest against visit of Benedict XVI
islam - vatican
Benedict XVI's words spark calls for apologies and requests for clarification in theIslamic world
INDIA
Card.Toppo: "Face Islamic protests with truth, courage and prayer"
ISLAM - VATICAN
Two churches struck in Nablus as Muslim countries criticize pope
VATICAN - ISLAM
Pope is sorry, reaffirms esteem for Islam and rejection of violence
TURKEY – VATICAN
Pope's trip at risk as Turkey becomes less secular
VATICAN – ISLAM
Pope "truly sorry" for Muslim reactions but did not offend
IRAN - VATICAN
Not all Teheran behind ayatollahs in anti-pope criticism
INDIA
A great sign of peace from the Pope, say Indian Muslim leaders
PAKISTAN
Pope only wants inter-faith harmony, Pakistani bishops say
TURKEY – VATICAN
Turkish bishops confirm trip of Benedict XVI will go ahead
LEBANON
Moderate voices in Lebanon urge people to read what the Pope actually said
Vatican - islam
The Pope and eastern and western terrorism
ISLAM – VATICAN
Pope's explanations not good enough for radical Islam
ISLAM – ISRAEL
What the Christian Pope thinks about Islam matters to the Muslim world
PALESTINE - VATICAN
Armed guards in Bethlehem churches, but Christians are on pope's side
ISLAM – VATICAN
More calls for dialogue in a Muslim world angered by Pope
SYRIA – VATICAN
Syria's Grand Mufti says Pope's explanation "more than enough"
PAKISTAN – VATICAN
In Pakistan Christians and Muslims study Pope's speech together
PHILIPPINES – ISLAM
Sincere faith and dialogue are the only ways to peace between Christians and Muslims
VATICAN-ISLAM
Pope: I was misunderstood about Islam, may my words become an opportunity for dialogue
LEBANON – VATICAN
Rise above controversy about pope, say Lebanese bishops on day for peace
IRAN - VATICAN
Ahmadinejad proclaims respect for pope but Iran has strange anti-Catholic coalition
VATICAN – ISLAM
Pope to meet ambassadors from Muslim countries
VATICAN
Pope: Sr Leonella Sgorbati, an authentic Christian witness
BANGLADESH – VATICAN
Bangladeshi bishops defend a misunderstood Pope
IRAQ - VATICAN
Radical Muslims against pope: two churches attacked in Mosul and Baghdad
ISLAM-VATICAN
Pope with ambassadors: much praise and some "buts" from Muslim world
PHILIPPINES
Manila: Muslim MP urges understanding, not criticism, of pope
VATICAN – ISLAM
Pope: dialogue between Muslims and Christians "a vital necessity"

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