Beliefnet
Sept. 27 - Representatives of 57 Islamic states expressed concern on Tuesday (Sept. 26) that recent remarks by Pope Benedict XVI reveal a "lack of correct information about the Holy Quran, the Prophet (Muhammad) and the Islamic faith."

The Organization of the Islamic Conference asked the pope to apologize as part of a statement drafted during a meeting held on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly.

In the statement, the OIC said it fears the pope has produced "a situation of tension between the Muslim world and the Vatican."

The OIC said it "regrets the other derogatory fallacies defaming Islam" in the pope's controversial Sept. 12 lecture in Germany and believes the speech was part of a "smear campaign."

The statement came on the heels of the pope's Monday (Sept. 25) address to ambassadors from 22 Muslim countries at the Vatican. During the short speech, the pope said he "respected Muslims" and stressed the importance of interfaith dialogue.

It was the latest in a series of attempts by the pope to soothe tensions without apologizing directly for the speech in Germany, in which he angered Muslims by citing a Byzantine emperor who called Muhammad's teachings "evil and inhuman" and spread "by the sword."

Benedict has said he regretted the "reaction" provoked by his speech but has not apologized for the words themselves.

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