A few years ago, Pope Benedict XVI was giving a speech and quoted from a medieval text which referred to the Prophet Muhammad as violent. Middle Eastern Muslims are demanding the Pope apologize for the reference and promised not to regard his visit to the Holy Land as a welcome sight. A banner in Nazareth, the home town of Jesus condemns anyone who insults the Muslim religion or their prophet. Municipal officials refused to indicate if they would remove the banner prior to the Pope’s visit. Some Muslim clerics made clear they would not talk with him while others said they would engage in dialogue provided the Pope expressed his sorrow for the remark. Actually, the purpose of the Pope’s visit is to foster inter-faith relations.
There is something hypocritical about the Pope being compelled to apologize for remarks concerning a medieval comment. Read any Muslim newspaper in the Middle East and one encounters stories that are vicious in hostility toward Jews and Christians. Neither Jews nor Christians have any right to religion in nations like Saudi Arabia which apparently is OK with Muslim leaders who worry about medieval quotes. Visit any bookstore in the Middle East and get an inexpensive copy of Hitler’s books.