Excerpts from articles on Pope and Islam Controversy

ioters’ Madness Shames Muslim World; Reactions of Some Fanatics Does Not Help Open Dialogue – Father Raymond J. de Souza – National Post
  Painful though it may be, speaking frankly is necessary if there is to be honest and open dialogue between the Abrahamic faiths. Given the reaction to Benedict’s address, though, one wonders if that dialogue is even possible..In response to this historical excursus in an academic lecture by one of the world’s most erudite theologians, we are witnessing a wave of madness and malice, no doubt an embarrassment to millions of Muslims…It does a disservice to children to call the wild-eyed statements and deranged behaviour of the past days childish.

German Cadinal Reflects on Difficulties of Dialogue With Islam – Catholic World News
  Cardinal Kasper of Germany observed that “Islam developed in opposition to orthodox Christianity from the very start, and it considers itself superior to Christianity.” Cardinal Kasper noted that Islam does not advocate religious freedom, and has not yet accepted human rights that the Western world considers fundamental.

Muslim terrorism, the cardinal said, is motivated by hatred of the West and frustration over the “shortcomings” of Islamic societies. He told Der Spiegel that among terrorists, Islam “serves as a mask, a cover for desperation and nihilism,” rather than a genuine religious orientation.

Islam cannot accept democracy, Cardinal Kasper said, unless it first accepts the value of tolerance and respect for other faiths. And without that acceptance, he added, genuine dialogue will remain difficult. “Those who are unprepared to demonstrate tolerance cannot expect or even demand tolerance for themselves,” he said.

Amid criticism and violence the first balanced views about the Pope’s speech appear
Former Iranian President Mohammad Khatami said the full text of the Pope speech in Regensburg should be read before making any comments on its contents.

“I hope that the reports in this regard are misinterpreted as such remarks [as reported in the press] are usually made by uninformed and fanatic people but my impression of the pope was rather an educated and patient man,” Khatami said after his return to Tehran from a two-week visit to the United States.

So far reactions in the Muslim world, which have ranged from outrage and criticism to violence, have been based solely on media excerpts. There are not as yet any translations of the Pope’s speech into Arabic or any Eastern languages.

Like Iran’s Khatami, Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has also been more balanced in his reaction. Speaking from Havana (Cuba) where he is attending a summit of non-aligned countries, he said that “Indonesian Muslims should have wisdom, patience, and self-restraint to address this sensitive issue. . . . We need them so that harmony among people is not at stake”.

A Great Sign of Peace From the Pope, say Indian Muslim Leaders
Indian Muslim religious leaders “welcomed with joy” Benedict XVI’s clarification with regard to its controversial September 12 speech at Regensburg University, calling it a “sign of religious tolerance and peace”.

Moderate Voices in Lebanon Urge People to Read What the Pope Actually Said
  The Shia mufti of Tyre urges people to what Benedict XVI said with calm and serenity. Patriarch Sfeir sees political motivations behind the reactions in some Muslim quarters.

Pope’s Explanations Not Good Enough for Radical Islam
  Threats, demonstrations and calls for protest continue in the Muslim world. Iran’s Khamenei talks about a US-Zionist crusade, a Saudi paper evokes a clash of civilisations, al-Qaeda threatens more defeats and an Indonesian group wants to crucify the Pope.

Qaeda-led group vows “jihad” over Pope’s speech – Reuters

Palestinians Attacked More Churches in Occupied West Bank Yesterday in Reaction to Benedict Speech -The Age

The Pope Must Die, Says Muslim – Daily Mail

Turkish Bestseller: “Who will kill the Pope in Istanbul?” –

Islam’s Unreasonable War Against Benedict XVI by Sandro Magister – Chiesa
  Anyone who is an expert in the art of diplomacy and a proponent of “realism” in international relations would certainly have censured as inopportune and dangerous many passages of the homilies and speeches delivered by Benedict XVI in Germany.

But this is not a pope who submits himself to such censorship or self-censorship, which he sees as being inopportune and dangerous indeed when it concerns the pillars of his preaching.

….when reason separates itself from God, it closes in upon itself. And likewise, faith in an “irrational” God, an absolute, unbridled will, can become the seed of violence. Every religion, culture, and civilization is exposed to this twofold error – not only Islam, but also Christianity, toward which the pope directed almost the entirety of his preaching.

Weblog: A Cartoonish Response to Benedict’s Speech – Christianity Today

Thin-skinnedness of many Muslims is getting awfully tiresome –

Paul Allan Explains Pope’s Comments on Islam – National Catholic Reporter