Demands for Pope to make personal, clear apology

September 17th 2006: "Demands around the world continued on Sunday for Pope of the Vatican, Benedict XVI, to make a clear and personal apology over remarks he made against Islam and Prophet Mohammad (PBUH).

The Syrian Islamic-Christian Committee called upon the Pope, in a statement following an emergency meeting, to make a clear and personal apology for the remarks that hurt the feelings of Muslims.

It said that any attempt to insult or violate heavenly religions would have dangerous consequences and obstruct efforts to promote tolerance and co-existence among people of the world.

Moreover, the committee warned Syrians from falling into the trap of extremism and sectarianism and to exercise wisdom.

And in Indonesia, Chief Muslim Cleric Sheikh Marouf Amin said that such insulting and hurtful statements should not be made by a man of such high stature as the Pope, noting that the late Pope John Paul II had spared no effort in bridging gaps between people of different religions.

ANTARA news agency quoted the cleric calling upon the Pope to respect other religions and encourage dialogue, while demanding a personal apology be made to Muslims and for the Pope to pledge not to make similar statements in the future.

The Pope had confirmed in a statement issued yesterday the Vatican's appreciation and respect for Muslims and said he was "extremely sorry" for the misunderstanding of what he had said.

In a speech at a German university, the Pope claimed that Prophet Mohammad brought what was "only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." (end) tk.mmk.


Pope 'sorry' for offence to Islam

For the story of the official apology, which some see as more explanation than apology, see "Pope 'sorry' for offence to Islam" (BBC News, 16th September, 15.05pm)

Another BBC report says:
"The Pope is now acutely aware that wherever he is speaking, his words will be heard around the world by an audience ready to analyse every nuance of meaning.

He may have another opportunity to explain himself to Muslims in November, when he is scheduled to visit Turkey.

In the meantime, the Vatican will be giving a lot more thought to the words and actions needed to promote better relations between the world's two major religions. "
(from BBC report "Pope remarks reveal a harder stance")

Muslim requests for apology from Pope