Benedict's blunder

Ground rules for Muslim-Christian conversation
I have been involved for 25 years in fruitful conversation with Muslims, and I have read the Qur’an and a lot of literature about Islam. But I confess that Emperor Manuel II Paleologus (Paleologus meaning Old Word) was not on my mind before Pope Benedict XVI launched his entry into the newsrooms of the world. At a lecture at the University of Regensburg in Germany the pope quoted an unlikely source for interreligious understanding—a portion of a 14th-century text in which the emperor (whom the pope describes as “erudite”) wrote: “Show me just what Muhammad 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.”


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