Friday, September 15, 2006

Religious tolerance and understanding needed

During a speech at the University of Regensburg on Tuesday, Pope Benedict quoted criticism of Islam and the Prophet Mohammad by 14th century Byzantine Emperor Manuel II Palaeologus, who wrote that everything Mohammad brought was evil and inhuman, "such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached".

Pope Benedict, who used the terms "jihad" and "holy war", repeatedly quoted Manuel's argument that spreading the faith through violence is unreasonable, adding: "Violence is incompatible with the nature of God and the nature of the soul."

Muslims across the world are expressing outrage about the Pope's remarks and are demanding the Pope to apologise and withdraw the false statement.

Pope John Paul II who was Pope Benedict's predecessor travelled widely and worked tirelessley building bridges between nations and religions, attempting to remove divisions created through history.

Sadly instead of of building and strenghtening on the racial harmony that the present Pope inherited, Pope Benedict has started off on the wrong foot.

The Pope as the highest cleric in Christianity needs to set a good example of understanding other religions and should not make statements that insult other religions.

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