Not a Thanet story but do you think that the Pope, Benedict XVI, was unwise to quote remarks by the 14th-century Byzantine emperor Manuel II Paleologus, who wrote "Show me just what Muhammad brought that was new and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached."
The context of the Pope's speech at the University of Regensburg in Germany, stressed that violence can never be justified by any religion and to illustrate, this argument, he drew on the dialogue between the emperor and a Persian scholar, which has caused such outrage in the Islamic world.
The Guardian writes: "Blog sites have been buzzing with the thought that the Pope may have the president of Iran in mind when he speaks of Manuel's Persian interlocutor. But we don't need to speculate upon a contemporary casting for this speech to recognise its dangers. For in claiming that Islam may be beyond reason, and then to claim that to act without reason is to act contrary to the will of God, is pretty close to the assertion that this religion is godless. And that's not how different faiths ought to speak to each other - especially when we all have each other's blood on our hands."
Is Islam above any criticism? Was the Pope wrong to use the quote he did or are both wrong? What do you think?