Statement of Patriarch Irinej of Serbia

On the occasion of my reckless incomplete statement about the psychological profile of the Muslims, published in the daily newspaper Blic on St. Sava's day, I state that indeed it can be interpreted in the way it was understood by those Muslim believers and religious leaders who felt hurt, although I neither had such an intention nor that unfortunate statement expresses my true attitude towards Islam, based on the absolute respect of identity, dignity and integrity of Muslims as individuals, the Islamic community as a whole, and Islam as a major world religion.

It is not my desire to show too late smart or to seek an excuse, but if the Blic published, as it had not, what had preceded, and the sequel of my testimony, the public would found out also about my words that we are all created in image and likeness of God and that we are, therefore, invited to through philanthropy surpass all existing differences and to live in unity and mutual love and respect.

I express my deepest regret for this statement and for its consequences, and to Muslims - our neighbors and our brothers - I extend my sincere apologies.

January 29, 2010

in Belgrade

Irinej, m.p.


Delivers: The Office of Patriarch of Serbia