ISTANBUL, Turkey – Pakistan’s legislature unanimously condemned Pope Benedict XVI. Lebanon’s top Shiite cleric demanded an apology. And in Turkey, the ruling party likened the pontiff to Hitler and Mussolini and accused him of reviving the mentality of the Crusades. Across the Islamic world Friday, Benedict’s remarks on Islam and jihad in a speech in Germany unleashed a torrent of rage that many fear could burst into violent protests like those that followed publication of caricatures of Prophet Muhammad. By citing an obscure Medieval text that characterizes some of the teachings of Islam’s founder as “evil and inhuman,” Benedict inflamed Muslim passions and aggravated fears of a new outbreak of anti-Western protests. The last outpouring of Islamic anger at the West came in February over the prophet cartoons first published in a Danish newspaper. The drawings sparked protests – some of them deadly – in almost every Muslim nation in the world. “He has a dark mentality that comes from the darkness of the Middle Ages. He is a poor thing that has not benefited from the spirit of reform in the Christian world,” Kapusuz told Turkish state media. “It looks like an effort to revive the mentality of the Crusades. “Benedict, the author of such unfortunate and insolent remarks, is going down in history for his words,” Kapusuz added. “He is going down in history in the same category as leaders such as Hitler and Mussolini.” Even Turkey’s staunchly pro-secular opposition party demanded that the pope apologize before his visit. Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi has tried to defuse anger, saying the pope did not intend to offend Muslim sensibilities and insisting that Benedict respects Islam. In Pakistan, the Vatican envoy voiced regret at “the hurt caused to Muslims.”160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe joys and headaches of holiday travel: John PhillipsSome experts said the perceived provocation by the spiritual leader of more than a billion Roman Catholics could leave even deeper scars. “The declarations from the pope are more dangerous than the cartoons, because they come from the most important Christian authority in the world – the cartoons just came from an artist,” said Diaa Rashwan, an analyst in Cairo, Egypt, who studies Islamic militancy. On Friday, Pakistan’s parliament adopted a resolution condemning Benedict for making what it called “derogatory” comments about Islam, and seeking an apology. Hours later, the Pakistani Foreign Ministry summoned the Vatican’s ambassador to express regret over the pope’s remarks Tuesday. Notably, the strongest denunciations came from Turkey – a moderate democracy seeking European Union membership – which Benedict is scheduled to visit in November as his first trip as pope to a Muslim country. Salih Kapusuz, deputy leader of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Islamic-rooted party, said Benedict’s remarks were either “the result of pitiful ignorance” about Islam and its prophet or, worse, a deliberate distortion.