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Ratzinger criticises Islam for mixing politics, religion

Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger has criticised what he sees as a tendency among Islamic leaders to identify politics and religion, insisting on the importance of respect for religious freedom.

He was particularly insistent that converts to Christianity in predominantly Muslim countries should be treated respectfully. He urged Christians to be confident in their own beliefs, and welcome converts into their communities.

Speaking to the Italian daily Il Giornale, the cardinal argued that Christianity brought an entirely new idea into the world's history by making a "distinction between the emperor and God".

With the rise of Islam, he continued, a substantial portion of the world returned to the earlier identification between the political world and the religious world, with the belief that "only political power can make men moral".

He said the distinction between spiritual and temporal power "creates a space for freedom", in which an individual can oppose the state.

Ratzinger's new book Faith, Truth, and Tolerance is ready for publication in Italy.

Ratzinger criticizes Islam for mixing politics, religion (Catholic World News 26/11/03)

Ratzinger denies Christianity 'superior' to Islam (6/3/02)
Cardinal Ratzinger highlights Christian challenge following Sept. 11 (EWTN/Zenit 4/3/02)

27 Nov 2003