Muslim official slams Israel

Tamimi was a replacement for Jerusalem Grand Mufti Sheik Ikrima Sabri, who boycotted the ceremony.

While Israeli Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau's speech was more reserved and quoted biblical verses about the lion lying down with the lamb and nations no longer lifting swords against nations, the rabbi also embarrassed the Vatican by thanking the pope for his "recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's united eternal capital." The Vatican had made no such pronouncement.

John Paul II stuck to a prepared speech in which he quoted verses from the Koran, the Bible and the Gospel and called for interfaith religious efforts to bring peace to the Holy Land.

"Religion is the enemy of exclusion and discrimination, of hatred and rivalry, of violence and conflict," the pontiff said to applause."

Catholic and Jewish leaders criticized Tamimi.

The Rev. William Shomali of the Latin Patriarchate said Tamimi made a political speech instead of an interfaith speech.

Rabbi David Rosen, the Anti-Defamation League's Israeli office director, said the speech was a "disappointing missed opportunity" and said the sheik "did a disservice to Islam."