—FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE—
JAMAICA, New York (September 16, 2006) – The Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), a national Muslim grassroots organization has issued the following statement on the recent speech made by Pope Benedict XVI in Germany:
“The Islamic Circle of North America is greatly disturbed by the recent speech made by Pope Benedict XVI and is asking the Vatican to avoid quoting statements which do not help in bringing about peace in today’s world. We expect far more wisdom from the Pope, who leads almost a billion Catholics around the world.
The 14th century Byzantine Christian Emperor quoted by the Pope waged wars in the name of Christianity, not just against Muslims, but also against people of his own faith. It was a time when the memory of the Crusades was still fresh in the minds of the people.
We call on the Catholic Church to follow the great Legacy of Pope John Paul II, who worked tirelessly towards building bridges between Catholics and Muslims by supporting Christian – Muslim dialogue.
We are also asking Muslims to remember the teachings of Prophet Muhammad (may the Peace and Blessings of God be upon him), to be patient and steadfast. Muslims are urged to engage in dialogue with their fellow American community leaders, co-workers, and friends about Prophet Muhammad. ICNA has published many brochures on Islamic topics, which can be obtained from www.whyislam.org.
The Islamic Circle of North America has a great relationship with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and we are confident that our Catholic friends will help to convey the feelings of American Muslims to the Vatican.
In these difficult times, when the spilling of human blood has become cheaper than the pumping of oil, religious leaders have a greater responsibility to give hope in bringing about a peaceful world for our future generations.”
The Islamic Circle of North America is a leading American Muslim organization dedicated to the betterment of society through the application of Islamic values. Since 1968, ICNA has worked to build relations between communities by devoting itself to education, outreach, social services and relief efforts.
Islamic Circle of North America
Office: (718) 658-1199