Pope apologizes for offending Muslims

Says words of Byzantine ruler do not reflect own views
Under pressure for days to apologize for his remarks about Islam, Pope Benedict XVI said in a public appearance September 17 that he was “deeply sorry” that his use of a 14th-century quotation critical of the prophet Muhammad had provoked outrage in the Muslim world.

Benedict said his reference to words of a Byzantine ruler, who spoke of “evil and inhuman” teachings of Islam’s revered prophet, in “no way” reflected his own thinking. The pope said his remarks on Islam at Germany’s University of Regensberg September 12 were meant as “an invitation to frank and sincere dialogue, with great mutual respect.”

The controversial quotation, taken from Manuel II Paleogus, was that Muhammad had introduced “things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.”

 

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