Indian Muslim Clerics Say Issue with Pope is "Closed" Following Apology; Urge Interfaith Dialogue

September 18, 2006

Source: Mumbai Mirror

Wire Service: PTI

On September 18, 2006 the Press Trust of India reported, "Softening their stance on Pope Benedict’s remarks on Prophet Mohammad, prominent Muslim clerics here said the issue should be considered ‘closed’ in the wake of the apology tendered by the holy father and called for inter-faith dialogue to promote understanding between different religions. 'Now that the Pope has tendered an apology, the Muslims should also forgive him,' Naib Imam of Idgah Maulana Khalid Rashid Firangimahali said on Sunday. 'The issue should be considered to be closed after the Pope’s apology,' he added. Firangimahali disagreed with the demand from a section of Muslims that Pope should quit saying that it is up to the Christians to decide about it. Imam of the historic tile wali Masjid Maulana Syed Shah Fazlur Rehman Waizi Nadwi also echoed similar views and said the unfortunate episode should be closed if the Pope has apologised. All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) vice-president and noted Shia cleric Maulana Kalbe Sadiq said, 'Lack of understanding and knowledge about different faiths was at the root of the all the problems.' There is an urgent need for inter-faith dialogues to promote understanding among different religions, Sadiq said."