Muslim Action Committee

Saturday, October 21, 2006

786
POPE’S REMARKS IRRESPONSIBLE, NAÏVE AND CONTRARY TO THE PROCESS OF CIVILITY
The members of the Muslim Action Committee which constitutes over 1000 Muslim Ulema and clerics in the UK have expressed their shock and anger at the comments of Pope Benedict in his speech to a German university about Holy war in Islam.
The National Convenor of MAC, Shaykh Faiz Siddiqi said that the Pope seems to be following the trap of racist hostility that is affecting Europe today - with the Danish cartoons and the French hijab ban by quoting shallow pejorative remarks about Islam and Muslims. In making his comments the Pope has added fuel to a fire that has already ravaged and hurt many nations.
Shaykh Faiz Siddiqi said that at a time when religious leaders should be declaring and promoting an aura of global civility, it was irresponsible of the Pope to make such references which begets the language of the crusaders. Shaykh Siddiqi said that the Pope has forgotten that the teachings of the Holy Prophet Muhammed p.b.u.h. in relation to Jihad was primarily targeting the purification of the self and civilising an egotistic selfish human nature.
The Pope has quoted the mistaken belief of an ignorant source, as there is no command in the religion of Islam either through the word of God or the Prophet p.b.u.h., which commands to spread the faith by the sword. In fact the command is to “spread faith by wisdom, good character and civilised debate” Al Quran. Shaykh Siddiqi said that Jihad in Islam codifies the universal belief that people can fight to defend their land and resist oppression. Surely the Pope does not object to all violence in the name of religion or else he would consider decannonising the hundreds of saints who have fought for their faith.Shaykh Siddiqi said that the Pope’s comment will damage the efforts of Muslim scholars in England, under the Muslim Action Committee to promote a dialogue through global civility, see www.globalcivility.com. Shaykh Faiz Siddiqi said that it was not enough for the representative of the Pope to say that no offence was intended, but that the Pope should categorically distance himself from such beliefs and offer an unreserved apology for the obvious offence that was caused.

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