In his 1994 book, Crossing the Threshold of Hope, John Paul II said complimentary things about the piety of Muslims. But John Paul concluded his discussion of Islam with this: “For [these reasons] not only the theology but also the anthropology of Islam is very distant from Christianity.”
The theology has to do with the relationship between faith and reason, the anthropology with the dignity of the human person that requires a free and uncoerced response to truth, including religious truth. God (“Allah” in Arabic), Benedict contends, should be viewed not as an arbitrary ruler who issues capricious commands but as the Divine Reason that human beings, through reason and freedom, are invited to share. Speaking for the Catholic Church, which includes over half of the more than 2 billion Christians in the world, Benedict says that, in matters of religion, violence is the enemy of reason, and to act against reason is to act against God. Challenging the leaders of the more than 1 billion Muslims in the world, he asks them to join in that affirmation.
Richard John Neuhaus, “What the Pope Gets Right.” Time Magazine, Vol. 168:23, November 27, 2006, s. 26