Monday, September 25, 2006

Manila: Muslim MP urges understanding, not criticism, of pope

Manila (AsiaNews) – A Filipino woman MP of Muslim faith has urged “all believers of Islam, not only of my country but of the whole world, to accept the explanations of Benedict XVI about his address in Regensburg, thus starting Ramadan with sentiments of peace and hope.”

Faysah RPM Dumarpa appealed to the Philippines’ 10 million Muslims “to completely understand what Pope Benedict meant instead of reacting violently to it.” She continued: "As we Muslims observe Ramadhan, let us embark on this holy month of reflection, purification and abstinence with prayers for peace, not only in our country, but all throughout the world.”

According to Dumarpa, who was elected in the district of Lanao del Sur, the pope’s sincerity regarding the quotation of a medieval text “should be acknowledged by Muslim communities”.

The MP said “we should acknowledge the fact that no pope in the history of Christianity has ever aired regrets for his actions. It is my hope that the sincere gesture of Benedict XVI would be able to placate the wounded feelings of our fellow Muslims.”

She continued: “The observance of the fasting season among Muslims gives them the opportunity to relate to Allah and fellow human beings in a stage of humility, courtesy and piety. I enjoin Muslims to show that our faith has nothing to do with terrorism, but rather that it is about compassion and understanding.”

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