muslims deplore pope speech, want apology

muslims deplore pope speech, want apologyfrom reuters canada: Muslims deplored on Friday remarks on Islam by Pope Benedict and many of them said the Catholic leader should apologize in person to dispel the impression that he had joined a campaign against their religion.

In a speech in Germany on Tuesday, the Pope appeared to endorse a Christian view, contested by most Muslims, that the early Muslims spread their religion by violence.

"The Pope of the Vatican joins in the Zionist-American alliance against Islam," said the leading Moroccan daily Attajdid, the main Islamist newspaper in the kingdom.

"We demand that he apologizes personally, and not through (Vatican) sources, to all Muslims for such a wrong interpretation," said Beirut-based Sayyed Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah, one of the world's top Shi'ite Muslim clerics.

The Pope on Tuesday repeated criticism of the Prophet Mohammad by the 14th century Byzantine Emperor Manuel II Palaeologus, who said everything Mohammad brought was evil "such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached."

The Pope, who used the terms "jihad" and "holy war" in his lecture, added "violence is incompatible with the nature of God and the nature of the soul."