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Sayyed Fadlullah criticized Pope Benedict XVI's call for people around the world to convert to Christianity

Sayyed Fadlullah warned against a convergence of interests between the calls for converting to Christianity and the military campaign against the Muslim world
 

The Religious Authority, Sayyed Muhammad Hussein Fadlullah issued a statement in which he criticized the recent call of Pope Benedict XVI for people around the world to embrace Christianity since this call follows two other statements: The first is his position towards the essence of Islam which Pope Benedict XVI views as a religion that contradicts reason and freedom, whilst the second is about what the Pope calls the return of the Jewish people to their land. These calls coincide with a world campaign designed to deform Islam's image, and its humanitarian message as well as its social, political and economic movement, presenting Islam as an enemy of civilization and the progress of humanity.

His Eminence said that although a call in favor of religious preaching is a natural thing, we wonder why then so much noise is made when it comes to the Muslim call to embrace Islam, knowing that the call for Islam is based on the message of the cultural, intellectual, objective openness that is based on wisdom and fair exhortation.

The Sayyed also wondered whether there is a convergence of interests and goals between the Pope's call, the anti-Islamic campaign and the military attack against our region, something which makes us recall many of the bitter experiences of past Christianization campaigns that have destroyed our countries by the Crusaders' swords.  

Following is the text of Sayyed Muhammad Hussein Fadlullah:

The calls for embracing to Christianity have increased recently. The last of which was Pope Benedict XVI's call for people around the world to convert to Christianity, defending the movement of the Catholic Church, describing this conversion as an obligation and a fixed right and considering that the basic aspect of the Catholic Church lies in preaching the Gospel, as an expression of the religious freedom in its social, political and moral dimensions.

At a time we consider that a call in favor of religious preaching is a natural thing, we would like to highlight the following points:

Firstly: This papal statement that seeks to boast the Catholic missionary activity in the world and preaching it in the Muslim countries, coincides with a world campaign waged against Islam to deform its image in its cultural structure and humanitarian message as well as in its social, political and economic movement, presenting it as an enemy of civilization and progress of humanity."

For that reason, we ask the following question: Is there a convergence of interests and goals between the Pope's call, the anti-Islam campaign and the military interventions of various Islamic countries? This reminds us of many of the bitter experiences of past Christianization campaigns that have destroyed our countries by the Crusaders' swords.

Secondly: What arouses the suspicions of Muslims is that the call launched by the Pope follows two other statements: The first one is his position towards the essence of Islam, which the Pope views as a religion that contradicts reason and freedom. The second is about the Pope's position towards the Israeli entity and about what he calls the return of the Jewish people to their land after three thousand years, although he knows that this entity represents the worst attack on the people's simplest rights to their landů This comprises a great danger since it legislates occupation and usurpation and it also facilitates new arrogant campaigns for the invasion of new Muslim countries.

Thirdly: At a time we consider that the call for embracing Christianity is a part of the freedom of expression, still we wonder why then so much noise is made when it comes to the Muslim call to embrace Islam, knowing that the call for Islam is based on the message of the cultural, intellectual and objective openness that is based on wisdom and fairy exhortation.

Fourthly: We emphasize that religious preaching in general must take place within a cultural framework that refers to reason and evidence, on the basis of respect of people and their convictions, and not rely on exploiting the people's weaknesses, whether economic or cultural. 

Lastly: We call all Muslims to protect our Islamic reality in which the Muslims suffer from the Islamic and cultural illiteracy, through awareness and thought that resort to the Holy Quran that is a book of humanitarian culture. They should also face all campaigns that describe Islam as a religion of violence, backwardness, terrorism, human right violations and the elimination of others. This responsibility should be also held by the callers for Islam and the Muslim religious authorities to emphasize that Islam calls for arguing with others in the best manner.

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