"Muslims appreciated your unprecedented personal expression of sorrow and your clarification and assurance (on the 17th of September) that your quote does not reflect your own personal opinion," said an open letter by the Muslim scholars cited by the Islamica Magazine on Saturday, October 14.
"Muslims appreciated that (on September 25th) in front of an assembled group of ambassadors from Muslim countries you expressed "total and profound respect for all Muslims", added that letter which will be handed over to the papal nuncio in Jordan on Sunday, October 15.
Delivering a lecture in Germany on September 12, Benedict quoted emperor Maneul II Palaeologus that everything Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessing be upon him) brought was evil and inhuman, "such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached."
The Muslim scholars refuted the claims in the Pope's lecture that Islam was spread by the sword.
"As a political entity, Islam spread partly as a result of conquest, but the greater part of its expansion came as a result of preaching and missionary activity," the letter stated.
"Islamic teaching did not prescribe that the conquered populations be forced or coerced into converting."
The letter also refuted as "incorrect" the lecture's citation that the Qur'anic verse beginning "There is no compulsion in religion" is from the early period when the Prophet "was still powerless and under threat".
"'There is no compulsion in religion' was not a command to Muslims to remain steadfast in the face of the desire of their oppressors to force them to renounce their faith, but was a reminder to Muslim themselves, once they had attained power, that they could not force another's heart to believe," the letter said.
Signatories of the letter include the Grand Muftis of Egypt, Russia, Bosnia, Croatia, Kosovo, Istanbul, Uzbekistan and Oman as well as Shiite Ayatollah Muhammad Ali Taskhiri.
Also signing are prominent US Muslim scholar Sheikh Hamza Yusuf Hanson, Professor Seyyed Hossein Nasr of George Washington University and Professor Tim Winter of the University of Cambridge.
Click to Read the Muslim letter in Full.
Source: IslamonlineGüncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16