Muslim world divided over Pope’s apology

Pope Benedict’s admission that he was “deeply sorry” for offending the sensitivities of Muslims does not necessarily mean that the worst crisis of his papacy is over yet. Speaking in Rome yesterday, the Pope said that the views of the 14th-century Byzantine emperor Manuel II Palaeologus that he quoted last week – describing Islam as “evil and inhuman” – were not his own.

In Britain, some senior Muslims welcomed the Pope’s apologies but suggested that he would have to make a further apology to stop the row escalating.

Massoud Shadjareh, of the Islamic Human Rights Commission, said: “He needs to convince that this is a genuine apology because many people are aware of the sort of things he has been saying for a long time. Threats are not the way forward but some of the things he has said have been music to the ears of racists.”

Guardian, 18 September 2006