Report: 38 Muslim scholars accept Pope's apology

Scholars sign open letter to be delivered to a Vatican envoy in the hope of engaging the pope in a dialogue.

October 14, 2006 02:35
1 minute read.
Report: 38 Muslim scholars accept Pope's apology

pope and arabs 298.88. (photo credit: )


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Thirty-eight Muslim scholars and chief muftis from numerous countries have accepted Pope Benedict XVI's apology for his remarks on Islam, the editor of a Muslim journal said. The scholars have signed an open letter to this effect that will be delivered to a Vatican envoy in the hope of engaging the pope in a dialogue to counter prejudice against Islam, said the Jordanian-based editor of Islamica Magazine, Sohail Nakhooda. Nakhooda said Friday that the leading clerics behind the letter were Sheik Habib Ali of the Taba Institute in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates, and Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad, the special adviser to Jordan's King Abdullah II. Last month, the pope gave a lecture in his native Germany in which he quoted a medieval text that said the Muslim faith contained "things only evil and inhuman." The citation provoked a storm of protest from Muslims across the world. The pope quickly distanced himself from the quotation, saying it did not reflect his personal view of Islam. He also expressed deep regret that Muslims had been offended by his use of the quote. However, some Muslims indicated they were not placated by the papal apology. Nakhooda said the 38 signatories to the letter, which will be given to the Vatican's envoy in Amman on Sunday, declare that they accept the pope's "personal expression of sorrow and assurance that the controversial quote did not reflect his personal opinion." Nakhooda added that the letter, which will be published on Islamica Magazine's web site on Saturday, is "an attempt to engage with the Papacy on theological grounds in order to tackle wide-ranging misconceptions about Islam in the Western world." Benedict has called for dialogue between Christians and Muslims. Nakhooda said the signatories include the grand muftis of Egypt, Russia, Bosnia, Croatia, Kosovo, Turkey, Uzbekistan and Oman, as well as the Iranian Shiite cleric Ayatollah Muhammad Ali Taskhiri, and Professor Seyyed Hossein Nasr of Georgetown University, Washington. Islamica Magazine is a quarterly based in Los Angeles.

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