***In Pakistan Catholic and Muslim scholars and clerics met to study the Pope?s Regensburg speech which caused Muslims to protest. The meeting, which took place at the Bishop?s residence, is the initiative of the local bishop, Mgr Joseph Coutts, and Fr Aftab James Paul, director of Interfaith Dialogue and Ecumenism for the diocese of Faisalabad. A committee was formed that includes Bishop Coutts himself, two Catholic priests, four ulemas and another Muslim, Pir Muhammad Ibrahim.
Members of the Muslim community said they appreciated the initiative of the local Church.
For Rana Khalid Mehmood it is necessary to release Mgr Coutts?s remarks to the Pakistani press so that ?people can understand the real situation?.
Pir Muhammad Ibrahim is convinced that it is urgent to proceed logically. First, find the real issue; then, if there are problems clarify them through dialogue with our Christian brothers.?
***Souheila al-Jadda is a journalist and associate producer of a Peabody award-winning program, “Mosaic: World News from the Middle East,” on Link TV. She wrote the following commentary for THE DAILY STAR.
“In the spirit of tolerance, understanding and forgiveness, Muslims throughout the world should accept this admission, restore calm, and prevent another global Islamic outrage from erupting. Muslims should move on.”
“At the same time, rather than lash out at provocative statements, Muslims should welcome such criticisms of the faith because they offer religious leaders an opportunity to explain Islam through dialogue and by example.”
***The head of Ahamadiya Muslim Sect in Uganda, Amir Ina Yatola Zahid, has asked all Muslims to use this fasting period to forgive Pope Benedict the 16th over recent remarks against Prophet Mohammed.
***Filipino Muslim leaders express support for Pope
A manifesto expressing support to Pope Benedict XVI has been signed by Filipino Muslim leaders, in the aftermath of the debacle over the Catholic Church leader’s recent controversial statement.
The manifesto, signed by elected Muslim political leaders, not only expressed support to Pope Benedict XVI, but also aired their acceptance of a personal apology he offered for a speech that offended Muslims around the world.
“It is our honest belief that it was never the intention of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI to hurt or offend the feelings of Muslims like us,” the leaders noted.
***Souliman Ghali, Islamic Society of San Francisco.: “We need to really focus on what combines us together, some of the good work we’ve been doing together and we need to forgive each other every once in a while.”
*** ?The pope has now stated that the quote he used does not reflect his opinions about Islam and Muslims, and we have to take his word for it,? said Ibrahim Hooper, director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Washington-based Islamic civil liberies and advocacy organization.