Sheikh Tantawi, who approves of suicide bombing, won’t meet with the Pope because he quoted someone who said Muhammad brought nothing that wasn’t “evil and inhuman.” Since jihadists routinely justify suicide bombing by referring to Qur’an 9:111, which guarantees Paradise to those who “kill and are killed” for Allah, apparently Tantawi’s idea of what is “evil and inhuman” is more nuanced than that of most people.
From ANSA, with thanks to the Constantinopolitan Irredentist:
VATICAN CITY (ANSA) – The Islamic cleric and teacher who is the highest authority on Sunni Muslim theology pulled out of a scheduled meeting with Pope Benedict XVI on Thursday, reportedly because of pressure from fellow Muslims.
The incident appeared to be further evidence that many Muslims around the world still feel deep anger over Benedict’s controversial remarks on Islam in September last year.
In a lecture at Regensburg university in Germany, the pontiff cited a medieval emperor who said Islam was “evil and inhuman”, sparking protests all over the Muslim world. He subsequently apologised several times and said he had meant no offence.
During a trip to Muslim Turkey last November, the pope made further efforts to smooth relations with Islam, making a historic visit to Istanbul’s Blue Mosque. As part of moves to continue developing dialogue, Sheik Mohammed Sayyed Tantawi, head of the Al Azhar university in Cairo, was supposed to meet the pope in the Vatican on Thursday morning….
Vatican sources confirmed later that the meeting had not taken place, saying that this was because of “the imam’s commitments in Cairo”. The sources were pessimistic about the chances of a new date being set soon for the meeting.
Meanwhile, in Cairo, sources at the Al Azhar university said the change of plan was due to pressure from Muslim ‘Ulema’ scholars in Egypt and also from the Muslim Brothers, the Arab world’s largest group of political Islamists.
This explanation appeared to be confirmed by the statements of Ahmad Mahmoud, professor of Sharia law at the Al-Azhar university.
“The offensive observations by Pope Benedict XVI against Islam make this visit not positive,” he told the Gulf News agency, going on to rebuke Benedict for having “abolished” the Vatican department for inter-religious dialogue. In fact, Benedict merged it with the Pontifical Council for Culture in a bid to put a more cultural slant on dialogue.
According to Egyptian daily Al Akhbar, the invitation issued by the Vatican to Tantawi earlier this year aroused fresh anger in Islamic world still reeling from the Regensburg incident.
Another Egyptian daily, Al Osboe el Yom, said on Thursday that by accepting the invitation Tantawi seemed to have “forgotten the pope’s insults” and was therefore “offending all Muslims”.
Tantawi should be offended about the suicide bombings, not about the Pope.