UN expert: Pope's remarks 'profoundly troubling'

September 22, 2006 02:18

A UN investigator on acts of xenophobia and racism on Thursday called Pope Benedict XVI's remarks on Islam "profoundly troubling." In a report to the UN Human Rights Council, Senegalese rights expert Doudou Diene said he did not consider Benedict's remarks in Germany last week to be an attempt to legitimize Islamophobia. However, considering the current trend to associate Islam and terrorism the pope's lecture was "bound to nourish and give legitimacy" to the hatred of Islam, he said, recalling the violent protests throughout the Muslim world sparked by the newspaper caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad. In his Sept. 12 address at the University of Regensburg in Germany, Benedict cited a dialogue between a Persian scholar and a Byzantine Christian emperor who characterized some of Muhammad's teachings as "evil and inhuman," particularly "his command to spread by the sword the faith."

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