Turkish religious leader calls on Pope to apologise

14th September 2006, Comments 0 comments

14 September 2006, ANKARA - Turkey's highest Islamic authority Thursday called on Pope Benedict XVI to apologize for remarks he made during a trip to Germany in which he condemned the Islamic notion of jihad or holy war. Ali Bardokoglu, president of the state-controlled Religious Affairs Department, told the NTV television station that if the pope's statements "show a hatred in his heart, then we face a dangerous situation." The pope's controversial remarks came when he was quoting a conversation that took

14 September 2006

ANKARA - Turkey's highest Islamic authority Thursday called on Pope Benedict XVI to apologize for remarks he made during a trip to Germany in which he condemned the Islamic notion of jihad or holy war.

Ali Bardokoglu, president of the state-controlled Religious Affairs Department, told the NTV television station that if the pope's statements "show a hatred in his heart, then we face a dangerous situation."

The pope's controversial remarks came when he was quoting a conversation that took place in Ankara in the year 1391 between Byzantine Emperor Manuel II Paleologus and an educated Persian on Christianity and Islam.

"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 pope quoted Manuel as saying.

After quoting this, the pope then quoted an academic, Theodore Khoury, who edited the original dialogue, as saying, "In Muslim teaching, God is absolutely transcendent. His will is not bound up with any of our categories, even that of rationality."

Bardakoglu was particularly incensed with the latter quotation.

"They used to believe in three Gods," Bardakoglu said. "They say Jesus is the son of God. Where is the rationality in that?"

Bardakoglu also called for the cancellation of the pope's scheduled visit to Turkey in November.

"I wouldn't expect anything good to come from a visit to the Islamic world by someone who thinks like this about Islam's prophet. First he must save his heart from this hatred," Bardakoglu said.

DPA

Subject: German news

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