Reuters: A senior Iranian cleric said on Friday that Pope Benedict’s recent remarks that angered Muslims were an “act of madness” and said the leader of the Catholic Church had “disgraced himself”. TEHRAN (Reuters) – A senior Iranian cleric said on Friday that Pope Benedict’s recent remarks that angered Muslims were an “act of madness” and said the leader of the Catholic Church had “disgraced himself”.
Muslim leaders worldwide have criticized the Pope for a speech two weeks ago hinting that Islam had been spread by the sword and brought only evil to the world. The Pope has expressed regret at the uproar four times but has not withdrawn his words.
“It was an act of madness what the Pope did and he disgraced himself and the system he represents,” said Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati, who heads the constitutional watchdog the Guardian Council.
“His comments showed either that he did not have information on Islam, or the he had information and did injustice to Islam, or that he had fallen into a trap,” Jannati told a Friday prayers gathering, broadcast on state radio.
He also said the Pope was following “the same path” as those who published cartoons of Prophet Mohammad in the Danish press. Those cartoons outraged Muslims around the world.
“These moves aimed at confronting Islam and the (Islamic) revolution (in Iran) are all doomed to defeat,” Jannati said.
In his speech, Pope Benedict quoted criticism of Islam and the Prophet Mohammad by 14th century Byzantine Emperor Manuel II Palaeologus, who wrote that everything Mohammad brought was evil and inhuman.