The Muslim world expects that the new Pope will continue his predecessor’s tolerance and the line he had opened up to the Islam. One can speak of renovation of religious practices as being very important in the world in which we live. Studies have shown that what is being taught in Germany concerning Islam is distorted. During suicide attacks, the media immediately speaks of Muslim terrorists, though religion is not mentioned when the terrorist is not Muslim. The truth is that terrorists are our common enemies - they struck us before you, remember the death of Anouar El Sadate. We are in the same boat. The West should cease its generalizations. You cannot spurn 1.3 billion people for the crimes of a few. There exist numerous Islamic laws that prohibit suicidal attacks.
There is no concrete declaration on the part of Mohammed Al Tantawi (the sheik of the Al-Azhar University) regarding Palestine, since the religious Muslims consider the conflict to be political and not religious. Democracy has existed in Egypt for 150 years and we are leading ourselves toward the democratization of the world, but we have internal problems that force us to impose other priorities. For example, we have a 36% rate of illiteracy, high unemployment and are experiencing rapid demographic growth. Those are obstacles in the path to democracy.
I agree with Al Tantawi when he says that the French government is entitled to prohibit the use of the veil. In the first place, he said that to use the veil is a religious duty and that no politician should be entitled to prevent it. Then he recognized that each country is sovereign and decides for itself. Muslims are in an pressing situation due to that law which authorizes women to remove their veil.

Die Welt (Germany)

" Wir sitzen im gleichen Boot ,” by Ali Gomaa, Die Welt, May 14, 2005. Text adapted from an interview.