Barroso defends pope, attacks Muslim ‘extremists’

BarrosoJose Manuel Durao Barroso, the EU Commission president, has strongly defended Pope Benedict XVI, saying Muslim criticism was unacceptable. “Attacking the pope because he refers in a discourse to a historical document is completely unacceptable,” Barroso said in a newspaper interview on Sunday. “I was disappointed that there were not more European leaders who said: ‘Obviously the pope has the right to express his opinion’. The problem is not the comments of the pope but the reactions of the extremists … We must defend our values.”

Al-Jazeera, 24 September 2006

See also Associated Press, 24 September 2006