Following a pattern often seen with Islam Online, the Islamic news portal operated by Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi, the publication has distorted recent remarks made by Pope Benedict VXI’s private secretary Georg Gaenswein to a German newspaper regarding Islam and Europe. Islam Online incorrectly characterized the remarks as an attack on “Islamic values” that labels Islam as extremist:
Pope Benedict VXI’s private secretary Georg Gaenswein has called for defending Europe’s ‘Christian roots’ against the Islamic values which threaten the European identity. In an interview with the German weekly Sueddeutsche, Gaenswein also defended last year’s speech by Pope Benedict XVI, which associated Islam with violence, saying that Islam was a ‘religion of extremes’ and have extremists who ‘invoke the Qur’an in their actions and use arms.’
The correctly translated passage instead contains a warning about “Islamization” and the observation that Islam is not a monolithic religion:
The attempts at Islamization of the West cannot be put aside. The danger for the identity of Europe that is connected to it must not be ignored for reasons of a wrongly understood respect. The Catholic sides sees it very clearly and talks about it. Especially the Regensburg speech should counter a certain naivete (“blue-eyedness”). One thing has to be pointed out – there is no Islam as such, no voice that ties all Muslims together and leads them. There are many different currents, often at war with each other, up to extremists that claim the Koran for their actions and go to work with guns. On an institutional level, he Holy See tries to make contacts and lead dialogs via the Papal Council for Interreligious Dialog.
After attempting to to stir-up controversy, Islam Online then calls upon what would appear to be a diversity of Muslim figures to criticize the remarks. However, four of the six individuals cited are associated with the organizations affiliated with Qaradawi and the fifth, Kemal Hebawi, is a long-time leader of the Muslim Brotherhood in the U.K.