Re: Pope Reaches Out to Muslims in Germany
- From: lanman <xlanmanx@xxxxxxx>
- Date: Sat, 20 Aug 2005 19:56:38 -0700
On 20 Aug 2005 08:35:10 -0700, "Saif Al-Islam"
>Pope Reaches Out to Muslims in Germany
>COLOGNE, Germany, August 20, August 20 (IslamOnline.net & News
>Agencies) - Pope Benedict XVI prepared to address Muslim leaders
>Saturday, August 20, in his latest bid to reach out to other religions
>during the first foreign visit of his pontificate.
>The 78-year-old pope was scheduled to meet a delegation of Islamic
>leaders in Cologne, the fourth largest city in Germany, in the early
>evening for what was to be his seventh major address in three days,
>following one in a synagogue to leaders of Germany's Jewish community
>the day before, reported Agence France-Presse (AFP).
>The meeting is a key part of his pledge to use his four-month-old
>pontificate to build "bridges of friendship" with the world's other
>The Muslim delegation is being led by Ridvan Cakir, leader of Germany
>'s biggest Islamic group, the Turkish-Islamic Union (DITIB).
>Earlier Saturday, the pope took time out of his schedule to hold talks
>with German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder and his challenger in the
>Sept. 18 elections, Angela Merkel.
>The meeting brought together top candidates for the Social Democrats
>(SPD), Christian Democratic Union (CDU), Parliamentary President
>Wolfgang Thierse and State Premier for North Rhine-Westphalia Jürgen
>Rüttgers Jürgen Rüttgers, reported Deutsche Welle.
>Rüttgers said the pope stressed in his meeting the need for Islamic
>religious studies in German schools along the lines of the curriculum
>currently offered for Catholic and Protestant pupils.
Good idea if it's a critical view of Islam and not taught by Muslim
>Muslims growing up in Germany run the risk of becoming "homeless" in
>the sense that they no longer have ties to their homeland with its
>culture and religion, the pope reportedly told Rüttgers.
Well now this is the crux of the problem, isn't it. Muslims growing up
in Germany should be expected to develop an affinity for their new
homeland - particularly if they accept citizenship with its attendant
benefits. Those who denounce their host countries should be shown the
>These children must be allowed to enjoy the same access to their
>religious heritage as those of Catholics and Protestants, who make up
>the majority of Germans, he added.
Does the Pope think for a minute Muslims aren't getting access to
their religious heritage. I'm quite certain it's being drummed into
them from birth. Does the Pope have a clue as to the messages Muslim
children in Germany are receiving.
>For more than 20 years, Muslims in Germany have been pressing education
>leaders to introduce regular religion courses in German for their
>So far only a few model projects exist in North Rhine-Westphalia, Lower
>Saxony and Bavaria.
>The pope has been reaching out to Muslims following accusations of
>ignoring Islam and his past opposition to Turkey's candidacy to join
>the European Union.
>He ignored Islam in his inaugural mass and hailed the "great
>spiritual heritage" shared by Jews and Christians.
>Benedict recently backpedaled on calling the July 7 London transport
>bombings "anti-Christian" -- which would likely have provoked a
>backlash from the Muslim world -- after an early draft of a Vatican
>statement condemning the bombings included the inflammatory phrase,
>according to AFP.
>Instead, a final version approved by the pope stopped at referring to
>the blasts as "barbaric acts against humanity."
>Germany is home to around three million Muslims, most of them of
>Click here to continue
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