Commentators trying to portray the Muslim reaction to the pope's latest pontifications as exaggerated are repeatedly claiming that his words were taken out of context, that indeed he intended no offence and was merely quoting a 14th century Byzantine emperor he did not agree with. The full text
of his address at Regensburg University, however, reveals that what he said is even worse than has been made out and shows not only that Papal analysis and politics are not infallible, but can be outright wrong and dangerous.
First of all, the pope tries to add to the American war against terror crusade by postulating that Islam is a violent religion. He makes the claim that the verse insisting that there be no compulsion in religion only applied during the early period of Islam when, according to those the pope considers experts in the matter, Muhammad "was still powerless and under threat". He claims that later those instructions were revised and replaced by the concept of "holy war", whereas the Christian emperor viewed conversion by violence as "something unreasonable".
For serious students of history this is, of course, quite a bold statement. The very emperor Manuel II Paleologus was amongst the war-mongers travelling the lands of Europe to incite their rulers to participate in the "holy" crusade against the Muslim and Jewish infidels. The Church has blood on its hands. As to conversion, the pope is blind if he is not aware of the unreasonable missionary activities amongst the "savages" by which the Church provided both rationale for colonialism and benefited from the spoils. For the pope to quote a crusading emperor responsible for violence against those of other faith as an advocate for non-violence in religious interaction seems rather ludicrous.
The rest is here: