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“Those who benefit from the pope’s comments and drive their own arrogant policies should be targeted with attacks and protests,” he said, referring to the United States.Recalls cartoon furor The anger recalled the outrage earlier this year over cartoons depicting the prophet published by a Danish paper.errors that he has not committed and aim at attacking his person and his ministry.” Few in the Islamic world were satisfied by Benedict’s statement of regret.“The pope’s words have caused a deep wound in the hearts of Muslims that won’t heal for a long time, and then only after a clear apology to Muslims,” Egypt’s religious affairs minister, Mahmoud Hamdi Zaqzouq, wrote in a column in the government daily Al-Ahram on Monday.
Working to defuse situation The Vatican on Monday sought to defuse the anger, ordering papal representatives around the world to meet with leaders of Muslim countries to explain the pope’s point of view and full context of his speech.
However, there has been some violence: Attackers hurled firebombs at seven churches in the West Bank and Gaza Strip over the weekend, and a nun was shot to death in Somalia.
Some 200 Khamenei loyalists in the Syrian capital, Damascus, held a protest Monday at an Islamic shrine, dismissing the pope’s apology.
Guards have been posted around some churches, and the head of Egypt’s Orthodox Coptic Church, Pope Shenouda III, disassociated himself from Benedict’s statements.
The Dominican mission in Cairo also criticized Benedict’s words, saying he chose a text for his speech that “revived the polemics of the past.” “These comments, seen by many Muslims as hurtful, risk encouraging extremists on all sides,” it said in a statement, “and put in danger all the advances in dialogue made in recent decades.” U. Muslim group counsels need to ‘move on’ In the United States, however, the leader of the largest U. Islamnic advocacy organization called for understanding the pope's error, if not accepting it, and the need to move on.