Muslim Scholars Respond to Papal Speech


Appeal for dialogue

The signatories said that they appreciated the pope’s assurance that the words of the emperor cited did not reflect his personal opinion.

They said that by following the Quranic precept of debating 'in the fairest way" they hoped to reach out so as to increase mutual understanding, reestablish trust, calm the situation for the sake of peace and preserve Muslim dignity.

Following the handing in of the letter, Khan said: "The aim of this letter was to address the pope’s speech in an appropriate manner.

“We haven’t had any response from the Vatican yet … they have to make their own deliberations and then respond to the letter in due course, the important thing is that a constructive dialogue has been started.”


The letter points out that “holy war”, referred to in the speech, is a term that does not exist in Islamic languages.

It says it should be emphasised that Jihad means struggle, and specifically struggle in the ways of God. This struggle may take many forms, and although this includes the use of force, it does not necessarily mean war.

How come Jahidi in surah 9 always refers to fighting/killing the kafirs?

With regard to perceptions of “forced conversion”, the scholars say that the argument that Muslims are commanded to spread their faith “by the sword”, or that Islam was largely spread “by the sword”, does not hold up to scrutiny.

It points out that while as a political entity Islam was spread partly as a result of conquest, the greater part of its expansion came as a result of preaching and missionary activity. Moreover, Islamic teaching did not prescribe that conquered populations be forced or coerced into converting.

This is a bald-faced lie. The historical records of the Muslim conquests of Persia and India and other places show Muslims did convert by the sword.

The Christians and Jews (initially) and the Hindus/Zoroastrians (later on) were only permitted to exist under persecution. That in not tolerance - that is persecution. Muslims seem to think tolerance is them not killing you.

The pope was 100% correct.


Their response was laughable. First he did not apologize. Second they castigated for using a biased quote. Yes, that Emperor was UNDER ATTACK by Muslims and less then a hundred years late Byzantium fell to the jihad. In my local mosque their books state jihad is warfare against the infidel. They admit it. How do you think so much of the world became Muslim? It was by force. It is time Islam apologized and rejected force and embraced reason. That is where dialogue can begin.

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