EU chief Barroso accuses EU leaders of being cowards.
EU: Surprising coming from Barroso, but what did he expect from most of Europe? They are not going to rock the boat and actually come out to side with the Pope.
|European Commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso has said he is "disappointed" that EU leaders did not do more to support the Pope after his controversial remarks on Islam. Talking to German paper Die Welt over the weekend, the commission president accused European leaders of letting the Pope Benedict XVI down, after his remarks on the prophet Mohamed in a 12 September speech led to strong outrage in the Muslim world. "To attack the Pope because he referred to a historical document in a speech is fully unacceptable," said Mr Barroso. "I was disappointed that there weren't more European leaders who said: of course the Pope has the right to express his views. The problem is not his remarks, but the reactions of the extremists." Asked why European politicians had been so reluctant to support the Pope, Mr Barroso said "Perhaps because there is concern about a possible confrontation. And sometimes [there is] a sort of political correctness: that one is only being tolerant when placing the opinion of others above one's own. I am very in favour of tolerance, but we should stand up for our values." Warning about Islamic extremists, the commission chief went on to say that "some of them are very educated people who have studied at our universities. And still, they hate our open societies, our free economies." "If they are prepared to kill themselves for that, don't you believe they are also prepared to kill us?"|