[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Languages
Last Updated: Monday, 25 September 2006, 15:18 GMT 16:18 UK
Muslims debate Pope's speech reaction
By Magdi Abdelhadi
Arab Affairs Analyst, BBC News

Palestinian Muslims demonstrate against the Pope's remarks on Islam, 22 September
Christian churches in Palestinian territories were attacked
Despite the predominantly emotional and angry response to the Pope's controversial remarks about Islam, some Muslim writers and intellectuals have been extremely critical of the way Muslims have responded so far.

The angry reactions to the Pope's original remarks included the killing of an Italian nun in Somalia and attacks on Christian churches in Palestinian territories.

But several Muslim writers argued that such violent reactions appeared to confirm the very things that Muslims have been seeking to refute.

Some concluded that it would have been better to engage in a rational debate with the Pope.

The European Muslim scholar, Tarik Ramadan, blamed Muslim leaders and scholars for such violent responses.

'Let off steam'

Leaders who deny their people freedom of expression, he wrote, find it convenient to allow their people to let off some steam as long as it is about Danish cartoons or words uttered by the Pope.

Mr Ramadan asks rhetorically whether it was wise of Muslims to feel offended by the Pope's quotation from a 14th Century Christian emperor while they continue to ignore questions they have faced over the past five years about the meaning of the term "jihad" and the legitimate use of force.

Khaled Hroub, a Jordanian-born academic, wrote that the aggressive and intolerant reactions failed to live up to the ideals Muslims believe in.

The Muslim reaction to the Pope's apology has also come in for a lot of criticism.

Mr Hroub wondered whether Muslim clerics can ever be asked to apologise for believing that Islam is the one and only true religion.

One columnist, Abdelwahab Al Affendi, ridiculed those who demanded a retraction of the Pope's original remarks.

Mr Al Effendi wrote saying that nothing short of the Pope's converting to Islam will ever assuage the anger of those people!


RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific