"We want a personal apology (from the Pope). We feel that he has committed a grave error against us and that this mistake will only be removed through a personal apology," Muslim Brotherhood Deputy Leader Mohammed Habib told Reuters.
Benedict cited in a recent speech an obscure Medieval text that characterizes some of the teachings of Islam's founder as "evil and inhuman" - comments some experts took as a signal that the Vatican was staking a more demanding stance for its dealings with the Muslim world. When giving the speech, the pope stressed that he was quoting words of a Byzantine emperor and did not comment directly on the "evil and inhuman" assessment.
The pope’s remarks were slammed by various Muslim leaders and organizations around the world.
Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday that the pope’s comments were "ugly" and said the pontiff should withdraw them.
"The Pope spoke like a politician rather than as a man of religion," Erdogan said.
“We cannot accept these statements. The Islamic world cannot accept them. I think these statements cannot be accepted by the Christian and Catholic world either."
'Global religious schism possible'
However, Turkey said it would not cancel the pope’s visit to the country, which os scheduled for November.
Prior to the Vatican’s retraction, the Muslim Brotherhood called on Muslim countries to sever all ties with it unless the pope agrees to apologize for his comments.
Anti-pope rally in Bangladesh (Photo: AFP)
Hizbullah and Lebanon's top Sunni Muslim religious authority denounced on Saturday Pope Benedict XVI's remarks, with the militant Shiite Muslim group warning of a global religious schism.
Hizbullah called on the Vatican to review the pope's "declared attitude which can lead to world divisions and from which the enemies of humanity - the neo-conservatives led by (US President George W.) Bush and the neo-racists and Nazis, the Zionists who attack civilians and the land - can benefit.”
The spiritual leader of Lebanon's Sunnis, the Grand Mufti Sheik Mohammed Rashid Kabbani, said the pope's remarks emanated either from "Ignorance and lack of knowledge or were deliberately intended to distort Islam."
"Reason is the substance of Islam and its teachings ... Islam prohibited violence in human life. Anyone who wants the truth (about Islam) must take it from Islam's holy book, the Koran, rather than from a dialogue or excerpts," he said.
Before the Vatican released its apologetic statement of the Pope’s comments, Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas on Friday joined the growing chorus of criticism in the Muslim world against the pope, saying he had offended Muslims everywhere.
Haniyeh, speaking to reporters after Friday prayers in Gaza, said there will be organized protests later in the day "to express Palestinian anger toward the comments that offended Islam and the Muslims."
About 2,000 Palestinians angrily protested Friday night against Pope Benedict XVI, accusing him of leading a new Crusade against the Muslim world.