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Home >> World
UPDATED: 08:18, September 16, 2006
Egyptian Muslims stage demonstration against Pope remarks
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Thousands of Egyptian Muslims staged a massive demonstration in Cairo after Friday prayers to protest Pope Benedict XVI's recent remarks on Islam, the official news agency MENA reported.

The demonstrators, gathering at the al-Azhar mosque, the most prestigious mosque in Egypt, demanded an apology from the Pope.

They urged the Arab and Islamic countries to expel Vatican ambassadors if the Pope did not meet their demand.

In a speech at Regensburg University in Germany on Tuesday, Pope Benedict quoted a 14th-century Christian emperor who said the Prophet Muhammad had brought the world only "evil and inhuman" things.

The statement drew immediately criticism from Muslims worldwide.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit, currently visiting Havana, tasked the Egyptian embassy in the Vatican to seek urgent clarifications about the Pope's statement, MENA said.

Such statements undermine efforts exerted to beef up inter- faith dialogue, Abul-Gheit was quoted as saying.

In a statement released on Friday, Speaker of the People's Assembly Ahmed Fathi Sorour also condemned that the Pope's words about Islam and the Prophet demonstrated ignorance of the Islamic faith.

Terming it "a continuation of anti-Islam campaigns", Sorour associated the incident with the earlier publication of caricatures lampooning the Prophet Muhammad.

Source: Xinhua

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