The Holy Father, Pope Benedict, is under intense scrutiny for quoting a controversial phrase from the 14-th century Orthodox Christian Byzantine Emperor, Emperor Manuel II Paleologos. In his recent speech at Regensburg University on Tuesday, he quoted: "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." when referred to the misuse of religion to justify and spread war (i.e. Holy War). With anything relating to the prophet Muhammad being an extremely sensitive issue from an Islamic perspective, Muslims worldwide are now massing protests against what the Pope said. Some even resorted to violence.
Now with a partial apology from the Pope, the Vatican can only hope this will subdue the anger within the Muslim communities. However, with an apology like this - from the Christian church head - it will for sure fuel the fundamental Islamic extremists. In their eyes, it meant a defeat for the Catholic church that could be useful to rally support and potential recruits to carry out suicide attacks on Western targets in the future.
This is like the Muhammad cartoon all over again. If Islam is really a religion of peace, tolerance and truth, it should be able to withstand the testament of time, just like what Christianity had to go through. If they are truly what they say they are, the dialogues should work both ways. I certainly didn't see the burning of Iranian president's effigy when he repeatedly denied the existence of Holocaust a while ago. Unlike here.
Many, many interesting comments can be found on BBC's website here.