Benedict XVI controversial remarks
During a speech on Tuesday at a German university, the Catholic pope “BENEDICT XVI” quoted from a book recounting a conversation between 14th century Byzantine Christian emperor Manuel Paleologos II and a Persian scholar on the truths of Christianity and Islam.
“The emperor comes to speak about the issue of jihad, holy war,” the pope said.
“He said, I quote, ‘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’.”
These quotes coming out of the head of the catholic church have raised anger and resent between an already angry 1.5 billion Muslims, and although the pope himself did not clearly say that he agreed with those quotations, the fact of him with his current position as leader of the catholic faith, recounted and used these quotations in a public speech, expresses his point of view on the subject.
Here are the exact words of the pope in the third paragraph of his speech:
“In the seventh conversation edited by Professor Khoury, the emperor (Byzantine emperor Manuel II Paleologus) touches on the theme of the holy war. The emperor must have known that surah 2: 256 reads: “There is no compulsion in religion”. According to the experts, this is one of the suras of the early period, when Mohammed was still powerless and under threat. But naturally the emperor also knew the instructions, developed later and recorded in the Qur’an, concerning holy war. Without descending to details, such as the difference in treatment accorded to those who have the “Book” and the “infidels”, he addresses his interlocutor with a startling brusqueness on the central question about the relationship between religion and violence in general, saying: “Show me just what Mohammed 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”. The emperor, after having expressed himself so forcefully, goes on to explain in detail the reasons why spreading the faith through violence is something unreasonable. Violence is incompatible with the nature of God and the nature of the soul. “God”, he says, “is not pleased by blood – and not acting reasonably is contrary to God’s nature. Faith is born of the soul, not the body. Whoever would lead someone to faith needs the ability to speak well and to reason properly, without violence and threats… To convince a reasonable soul, one does not need a strong arm, or weapons of any kind, or any other means of threatening a person with death…”.