Pope comments on Islam spark anger
Pope Benedict XVI's criticism of Islam and the Islamic concept of Jihad as unreasonable and against God's nature has sparked anger in the Islamic world on Thursday.
"These remarks are unacceptable and demonstrate ignorance of the Muslim faith," Mohamed Kanaan, the chief judge of the Supreme Shari`ah Courts in Lebanon, told the Doha-based Al-Jazeera channel. "The remarks only play into the hands of those seeking to tarnish the image of Islam."
In a speech to academics on Tuesday, Benedict had portrayed Islam as a religion which endorses violence, where faith is "spread by the sword". Using the words, "Jihad" and "Holy War" in lecture at the University of Regensburg, he quoted criticism of Prophet Muhammad by a 14th Century Byzantine Christian emperor.
"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," Benedict quoted Manuel II.