Religion of Mercy
Pope Benedict XVI, the leader of world’s Catholics in his lecture on Tuesday, 12[^1] September 2006 in Ratisbona University, Regensburg, Germany, discussed about relation of rationalism, faith and Jihad, and accused Islam to violence and incompatibility with knowledge and wisdom. In his speech, he cited a quotation from talks between Christian Byzantine emperors, Manuel II with an Iranian Muslim religious scholar saying: “Let me know what new Muhammad has introduced? Has he brought anything save bad and inhuman ideas? For instance, he ordered the faith which he preaches to be spread by force of sword”.[^2]
Narrating the said historical quotation, Pope has attributed two unfounded accusations to Islam: first, the accusation of violence and progress of Islam by force and sword; second, incompatibility of the sacred religion of Islam with knowledge and rationalism.
Although these are not new accusations against Islam, and those who are not able to encounter logically with this strong religion and culture have tried to prevent conversion of truth-seekers to Islam through such accusations, but it is very awful when a religious authority as the highest rank of world’s Catholics, who should naturally have sufficient familiarity with other religions in the world, utters such accusations. So, it was deemed necessary to give an appropriate reply to these unfair accusations. Here we reply to the first accusation, and Insha’Allah, we will prove his second accusation to be unfounded with authentic reasoning and documentation later.
Hereunder you will find a part of commentary discussions by the honorable Marja’ Hazrat Grand Ayatullah Makarim Shirazi during the blessed month of Ramadan, and published in the book, “The Loftiest Servants”.
The said discussions are reviewed and complementary notes are added, you can find it here in six chapters.
Moreover, for completion of this work, the statement by his holiness in reply to the unfounded speech by the Pope, and the notice for declaring readiness by His holiness to debate with Pope about the claim will be available in chapter six.
We hope this sacred religion which is full of clemency, compassion and rationalism to accept this little action from us and make it a reserve for us in the Day of Resurrection.
Wassalam Alaykum Va Rahmatullah Va Barakatuh
Abolghassem Olyan Nejadi
[^1]: It is noteworthy that the said lecture was delivered one day after the suspicious event of 11th September, and a few days after the wonderful victory of Hezbollah in Lebanon, and the awful defeat of the usurper Israel.
[^2]: Newsletter of Qom Seminary Professors Association, issue 927, page 29.