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» 09/19/2006
ISLAM – VATICAN
More calls for dialogue in a Muslim world angered by Pope
The Holy See's diplomatic offensive seems to be working. Iran's parliament hopes the Pope won't fall "in the trap" set by those seeking a clash of civilisations. More and more Islamic media detail the Pope's full speech, demand greater knowledge of each other's religion.

Beirut (AsiaNews) – As some pour over Benedict XVI's entire Regensburg speech instead of focusing on a single sentence about Muhammad taken out of context, others accept what the Pope said on Sunday, namely that what he quoted did not reflect his thought, and others even see that in the end the Holy Father did apologise. Overall, the Holy See's diplomatic offensive that has had nuncios working overtime trying to explain to the governments of Muslim countries the real meaning of what the Pope said in Regensburg is bearing fruit.

AsiaNews's sources are saying that the situation in some countries is still tense, but mass protest and incendiary statements appeared to have died down, except for terrorist groups that are still feeding the fire in order to politically exploit the situation.

In Iran, in a statement by President Ahmadinejad read to parliament and published in the semi-official ISNA news agency, Ahmad Mousavi said that it "is expected of the Pope to have a sense of his elevated place and to think about the consequences of his words " and show "respect" for Islam. Mousavi expressed "hope the Pope does not fall in the trap of those who see their benefits in war between Muslims and Christians". As for the controversial speech, the Iranian official said that the "remarks made by the Pope [. . .] were made on a poor foundation of knowledge regarding Islam".

For Saudi online paper Arab News, "[w]hatever views people may have about Pope Benedict's controversial speech at Regensburg University last week; it underlines the urgent need for greater dialogue between people of different faiths. There is a dangerous chasm of ignorance about other faiths and it affects Muslims, Christians, Jews and practitioners of other religions equally; it is dangerous because it is so easily exploited by bigots and opportunists for their own political ends."

The paper goes on to say that the "Danish cartoon row should have provided the stimulus to intensify efforts. It did not. Maybe now, in the full fury of the papal row, the message will get through. It has to. In today's global village, we cannot afford to be ignorant of each other's faiths. Ignorance breeds fear and fear breeds hate—and hate is scarcely a step away from war and conflict."

For its part, Turkish daily Hurriyet, which led the protest, now writes that "the reaction of radical Islamists to the pope's speech justifies claims that Islam is a religion of violence. But if we carefully read the speech by Pope Benedict XVI, we can see that the dialogue between cultures as well as religions will be difficult."

It adds that it "would also be wrong to demand an apology from the pope. He would say that they were the words of the Byzantine emperor. But that's not the essence of all this. It's important to emphasize the common points in a dialogue between cultures and accepting each other the way we are."

For Jordan's Al Ra'i, the Pope's Angelus, many excerpts of which it reprinted, was a step in the right direction, whilst Syria' SANA news agency briefly reported protests in some Muslim countries without any comments and without talking about any reactions in Syria itself.

Hasyim Muzadi, chairman of Indonesia's largest Islamic association Nadhlatul Ulama, said that Muslims must accept Pope Benedict XVI's "apology" for offending Muslims, saying it was "an obligation" according to Islamic teachings.

The Jakarta Post reports that for Hasyim Benedict XVI's regrets were "enough" and that any further resentment on the part of Muslims would only justify the Pope's claims. "If the rage continues, perhaps what the pope said is true," it said.

Taking its cue from Card Julius Darmaatmadja, the Bishops' Conference of Indonesia said that it hoped "this incident does not damage the religious harmony we have tried to build all this time," insisting that "the act of forgiving each other will be the basis for better dialogue in our coexistence."

A singular perspective has been voiced in an editorial article in Asia Times. The paper's editorialist claims that the Pope has called "for the conversion of the Muslims" and for this reason is dangerous. The jihad against which Benedict has spoken "is the fundamental sacrament of Islam, the Muslim cognate of the Lord's Supper in Christianity, that is, the unique form of sacrifice by which the individual believer communes with the Transcendent. [. . .] To ask Islam to become moderate, to reform, to become a peaceful religion of personal conscience is the precise equivalent of asking Catholics to abolish Mass. For this reason the Islamic world sees in Benedict XVI a danger and with "reason".

As for Benedict characterising jihad as an insult to Reason, Muslims might have responded by asking the Pope how much rationality is there in a God that sends his son to die on a cross or in a belief that during mass bread and wine can really be turned into the flesh and blood of his dead and risen son.

For the Gulf Today and the Middle East Time, the Pope's attempt to placate the anger of the Muslim world is a failure as demonstrations and al-Qaeda's threat to "conquer Rome" make clear.

Today though there have been no demonstrations but in Indonesia the Islamic defence Front is still protesting. The group complained that the Pope expressed regrets but did not apologise. For the group's spokesman, the Pope must instead apologise directly to Muslims.


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See also
09/17/2006 ISLAM – VATICAN
Amid criticism and violence the first balanced views about the Pope's speech appear
09/18/2006 Vatican - islam
The Pope and eastern and western terrorism
by Bernardo Cervellera
05/14/2009 VATICAN - ISLAM
The Pope, Arabic Islam and the West
by Samir Khalil Samir
09/20/2006 PAKISTAN – VATICAN
In Pakistan Christians and Muslims study Pope's speech together
by Qaiser Felix
09/18/2006 TURKEY – VATICAN
Turkish bishops confirm trip of Benedict XVI will go ahead
by Mavi Zambak
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
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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
ISLAM – VATICAN
Amid criticism and violence the first balanced views about the Pope's speech appear
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
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"

Editor's choices
VATICAN
"Stop! I am asking you with all my heart. Stop!" says pope as he speaks out on the Middle East, Iraq and Ukraine He mentions children, victims of war, "from whom we take away the hope for a decent life," urging the parties to address "every diatribe with the tenacity of dialogue and negotiation and the power of reconciliation". As tomorrow marks 100 years since the outbreak of the First World War, "a day of mourning," we should learn the lessons of history. The Gospel makes us know the true Jesus, the living Jesus, who speaks to the heart and is a life changer as he was for Saint Francis of Assisi. "The joy of finding the treasure of the Kingdom of God comes through, can be seen. Christians cannot hide their faith."
IRAQ - VATICAN
Saddened by "the timidity of the civilised world," Baghdad patriarch's heart bleeding "for the innocent in Iraq, Syria and Gaza" "Forget us not!" says Mar Louis Sako in a message to Card Barbarin on the occasion of the march of solidarity with Iraqi Christians, held today in Lyon.
VATICAN
Pope: I am with the persecuted Christians of Mosul and the Middle East "May the God of peace inspire in all a genuine desire for dialogue and reconciliation. Violence is never defeated with violence. Violence is defeated with peace." At the Sunday Angelus Francis comments on the parable of the wheat and the weeds. God is "patient" He knows "the same weeds in the end, may become good wheat". But "at the time of the harvest, that is, of judgment, the reapers will execute the order of the master separating the weeds to be burned".

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
by Lazzarotto Angelo S.
pp. 528
by Bernardo Cervellera
pp. 240
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