Pope compared to Hitler and Mussolini over Islam remarks

Ap
Friday 15 September 2006 06:14
Comments

Turkey's ruling Islamic-rooted party joined a wave of criticism of Pope Benedict XVI today, saying he would go down in history in the same league as leaders like Hitler and Mussolini for remarks he made on Islam.

The comments by Salih Kapusuz, a deputy leader of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's party, came a day after Turkey's top cleric asked Benedict to take back recent remarks, escalating tensions before the pontiff's November visit.

The Pope made his remarks on Islam in a speech in which he quoted from a book recounting a conversation between 14th century Byzantine Christian Emperor Manuel Paleologos II and an educated Persian on the truths of Christianity and Islam.

"The emperor comes to speak about the issue of jihad, holy war," the Pope said.

"He said, I quote, 'Show me just what Mohammed 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,"' he quoted the emperor as saying.

Benedict added, "I quote," twice before pronouncing the phrases on Islam and described them as "brusque," while neither explicitly agreeing with nor repudiating them.

Kapusuz told the state-owned Anatolia news agency that Benedict's remarks looked "like an effort to revive the mentality of the Crusades".

"Benedict, the author of such unfortunate and insolent remarks is going down in history for his words. However ... he is going down in history in the same category as leaders such as Hitler and Mussolini," he said.

His comments came despite the Vatican defending the Pope saying that the Pontiff wanted to promote respect and dialogue toward other religions.

Earlier today, Pakistan's parliament unanimously adopted a resolution condemning Pope Benedict XVI for making what it called "derogatory" comments about Islam.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in