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Last Updated: Saturday, 16 September 2006, 07:52 GMT 08:52 UK
In quotes: Muslim reaction to Pope
Muslim political and religious leaders around the world have been reacting to a speech by Pope Benedict XVI in which he mentioned the Prophet Muhammad.

PAKISTANI PRESIDENT PERVEZ MUSHARRAF

Our strategy must clearly oppose the sinister tendencies to associate terrorism with Islam and discrimination against Muslims, which are giving rise to an ominous alienation between the west and the world of Islam.

MALAYSIAN PRIME MINISTER ABDULLAH AHMAD BADAWI

The Pope must not take lightly the spread of outrage that has been created. The Vatican must now take full responsibility over the matter and carry out the necessary steps to rectify the mistake.

SAUDI GRAND MUFTI SHEIKH ABDUL AZIZ AL-SHEIKH

This is all a lie ... Islam is far from terrorism and was spread only through the conviction of peoples who saw the good and justice of Islam.

EGYPTIAN FOREIGN MINISTER AHMED ABOUL GHEIT

This was a very unfortunate statement and it is a statement that shows that there is a lack of understanding of real Islam. And because of this we are hopeful that such statements and such positions would not be stated in order to not allow tension and distrust and recriminations to brew between the Muslim as well as the west.

PALESTINIAN PRIME MINISTER ISMAIL HANIYA

In the name of our Palestinian people... we express our condemnation of the statements of his Excellency the Pope, against Islam as a belief, Sharia, history, and a lifestyle.

PAKISTANI PARLIAMENT

The derogatory remarks of the Pope about the philosophy of jihad and Prophet Muhammad have injured sentiments across the Muslim world and pose the danger of spreading acrimony among the religions.

HAMID ANSARI, CHAIRMAN OF INDIA'S MINORITY COMMISSION

The language used by the Pope sounds like that of his 12th-Century counterpart who ordered the crusades... It surprises me because the Vatican has a very comprehensive relationship with the Muslim world".

DIN SYAMSUDDIN, HEAD OF MUHAMMADIYAH, INDONESIA'S SECOND LARGEST MUSLIM ORGANISATION

The Pope's statements reflect his lack of wisdom. It is obvious from the statements that the Pope doesn't have a correct understanding of Islam.

AHMAD KHATAMI, IRANIAN CLERIC

It is unfortunate to see that the leader of the world's Christians is so ill-informed about Islam and speaks so shamelessly.

Muslims around the world would surely react to such weak arguments and will invite those who misunderstand Islam to learn about the religion. We say that such insults will spread the influence of Islam further.

MOHAMMED MAHDA AKEF, EGYPTIAN MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD

The remarks do not express correct understanding of Islam and are merely wrong and distorted beliefs being repeated in the West.

SHEIKH YOUSSEF AL-QARDAWI, QATARI MUSLIM CLERIC AND HEAD OF ISLAMIC SCHOLARS' ASSOCIATION

Our hands are outstretched and our religion calls for peace, not for war, for love not for hatred, for tolerance, not for fanaticism, for knowing each other and not for disavowing each other.

We condemn this and we want to know the explanation of this and what is intended by this. We call on the pope, the pontiff, to apologise to the Islamic nation because he has insulted its religion and Prophet, its faith and Sharia without any justification."

ALI BARDAKOGLU, SENIOR TURKISH MUSLIM

I do not see any use in somebody visiting the Islamic world who thinks in this way about the holy prophet of Islam. He should first rid himself of feelings of hate.

SALIH KAPUSUZ, DEPUTY LEADER OF TURKEY'S RULING AK PARTY

The owner of those unfortunate and arrogant comments, Benedict XVI, has gone down in history, but in the same category as Hitler and Mussolini.

He seems to have a mindset that comes from the darkness of the Middle Ages. He is a poor thing that has not benefited from the spirit of reform in the Christian world. It looks like an effort to revive the mentality of the Crusades.

GRAND AYATOLLAH MOHAMMAD HUSSEIN FADLALLAH, SENIOR LEBANESE SHIA CLERIC

We do not accept the apology through Vatican channels... and ask him to offer a personal apology - not through his officials - to Muslims for this false reading

ORGANISATION OF ISLAMIC CONFERENCE STATEMENT

The OIC hopes that this sudden campaign does not reflect a new trend for the Vatican policy toward the Islamic religion ... and it expects the Vatican to express its real vision of Islam.

DR MUHAMMAD ABDUL BARI, MUSLIM COUNCIL OF BRITAIN

One would expect a religious leader such as the Pope to act and speak with responsibility and repudiate the Byzantine emperor's views in the interests of truth and harmonious relations. Regrettably, the Pope did not do so and this has understandably caused a lot of dismay and hurt.




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