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Muslims Fault Pope’s Understanding Of Islam

From those defenders of the faith at Reuters:

Muslims find errors in Pope’s presentation of Islam

Sat Oct 14, 2006

By Tom Heneghan, Religion Editor

PARIS (Reuters) – Senior Muslim scholars, taking up Pope Benedict’s call for a frank dialogue, have written him an open letter listing factual errors in his recent speech on Islam that sparked protest across the Muslim world.

The 38 experts, including grand muftis from the Muslim world and scholars based in Britain and the United States, said they accepted the Pope’s stated regrets over the uproar and his expressions of respect for all Muslims.

The politely worded letter challenged the former theology professor on his own area of expertise and gave him poor marks for misreading the Koran, failing to use terms correctly and citing obscure and possibly biased sources

The scholars included grand muftis of Egypt, Oman, Uzbekistan, Istanbul, Russia, Bosnia, Croatia and Kosovo as well as a Shi’ite ayatollah, Jordanian Prince Ghazi bin Mohammad bin Talal and Western-based academics.

They faulted Benedict for arguing that a Koran verse advocating religious freedom was written while the Prophet Mohammad was politically weak and "instructions … concerning holy war" written when he was strong.

The verse was written when Mohammad ruled in Medina and wanted to keep converts from forcing their children to abandon their Christian or Jewish faith for Islam, they wrote.

The letter also faulted him for translating "jihad" as "holy war," saying "jihad" means a "struggle in the way of God" and did not necessarily have to include force…

They also disputed passages where he said or implied that Islam was irrational, violent and based on forced conversion.

"Had Muslims desired to convert all others by force, there would not be a single church or synagogue left anywhere in the Islamic world," they wrote…

As we have previously reported, the top Muslim scholars at Islam QA have stated unequivocally that the Pope’s controversial quotation was exactly correct insofar as Islam is spread by the sword:

Was Islam spread by the sword?

So whoever deviates from the Book is to be brought back with iron, i.e. by force. Hence the soundness of the religion is based on the Qur’aan and the Sword…

This is some of the evidence from the Qur’aan and Sunnah. The evidence clearly indicates that the sword is one of the most important means that led to the spread of Islam.

These same scholars have further pronounced that all who say otherwise are "defeatists" who are trying to distort the Islamic religion:

The defeatists among the Muslims come out to defend Islam, and they want to disavow Islam of this so-called lie, so they deny that Islam was spread by the sword, and they say that jihad is not prescribed in Islam, except in the case of self-defence. There is no such thing in Islam as taking the initiative in fighting in their view. This goes against what the Muslim scholars have stated, let alone the fact that it goes against the Qur’aan and Sunnah…

This is something for which Islam deserves to be praised, not condemned. The defeatists should fear Allaah lest they distort this religion and cause it to become weak on the basis of the claim that it is a religion of peace. Yes, it is the religion of peace but in the sense of saving all of mankind from worshipping anything other than Allaah and submitting all of mankind to the rule of Allaah.

So who should we believe?

The "defeatists" or our lying eyes?

This article was posted by Steve on Saturday, October 14th, 2006. Comments are currently closed.

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