Jordan's Muslim Brotherhood Demands Pope Apologize

April 21, 2009

Author: Jamal Halaby

Source: The Washington Post

Wire Service: AP

Jordan's powerful Muslim Brotherhood on Tuesday demanded Pope Benedict XVI apologize ahead of his Mideast tour for his previous remarks about the Prophet Muhammad that many Muslims interpreted as insulting their faith.

The controversy centers on a speech the pope made in September 2006 about Islam and violence in which he quoted a Medieval text that characterized some of the teachings of Muhammad as "evil and inhuman," particularly "his command to spread by the sword the faith."

"The pope insulted Islam and deeply hurt our feelings back in 2006 and he must apologize now to clear the air with Muslims worldwide," said Brotherhood spokesman Jamil Abu-Bakr. "We expect a written or verbal apology now or right before he visits Jordan."

The pope said in 2006 that he was "deeply sorry" over the reaction to his speech and the passage he quoted did not reflect his own opinion.

But Abu-Bakr said the pope's previous remarks were "insufficient" and a "clear public apology is required" before his May 8-15 tour of the region that will also take him to Israel and the Palestinian territories.