Liaison office of Grand Ayatullah Sayyid Ali Al Sistani (L.M.H.L) in London, Europe, North and South America.
His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI
00120, Vatican City State
The Islamic World has been astonished by the stance of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI regarding Islam, shocked and flabbergasted, almost disbelieving their eyes and ears. His address was neither an improvised speech to the people nor a report to the press so as to apologize for a slip of the tongue. The words were pronounced in a speech at a university, a seat of learning, knowledge and intellect. Also, this evening Father John Hashim appeared on various TV networks only to confirm the Pope’s stance clearly declaring it as being consistent with the Vatican’s stance and nothing new, adding that the protest is due to misunderstanding his words.
We join our voice with the voices of protest and objection. We express our bewilderment at the scholastic shallowness a man whose words represent the credo for hundreds of millions of people, his superficial knowledge of the fundamentals of faiths and in particular his misinterpretation of the concepts of Islam. We invite him, not to apologize so as to avoid the matter from declining into courtesies thus drawing the curtain on the realities, but to rectify his stance through accurate, sound and comprehensive reading of the particulars of the Islamic religion. The Islamic Seminaries (Hawzas) are fully prepared to offer him the required assistance to embark on this task. Also to open the door for serene academic dialogue, either through organized correspondence or joint meetings, because dialogue is incumbent upon us rather than being a matter of preference.
“…And most surely we or you are rightly guided or in a clear error." (Holy Qur’an)
“Call to the way of your Lord with wisdom and goodly exhortation and have disputations with them in the best manner. Truly, your Lord knows best who has gone astray from His Path, and He knows best those who follow the right way.” (Holy Qur’an)
Imam Ali (a.s) Foundation - London
21 Sha’ban 1427
15 September 2006