Yahoo News: Anglican church in Gaza firebombed
New item via AINA: “According to the website Islam Memo, one Christian was killed in Baghdad after the Pope’s speech two days ago. The speech created a wave of anger throughout the Islamic world, including Iraq. A poster has been placed in many Baghdad mosques for the previously unknown group, “Kataab Ashbal Al Islam Al Salafi,” (Islamic Salafist Boy Scout Battalions). This group threatens to kill all Christians in Iraq if the Pope does not apologize in three days in front of the whole world to Mohammed.”
Item: Sheikh Abubakar Hassan Malin’s fatwa:
“Whoever offends our Prophet Muhammad should be killed on the spot by the nearest Muslim.”
Item: Iraqi jihadi threat:
“We swear that we will destroy their cross in the heart of Rome … and that their Vatican will be hit and wept over by the Pope,” said Jaish al-Mujahideen (the Mujahideen’s Army) in the statement, whose authenticity could not be confirmed.
The statement lashed out at “Zionised Christians and loathsome crusaders” and was accompanied by six films showing attacks against US military targets in Iraq, which it said were “dedicated to the dog of the crusaders (an apparent reference to the Pope) in retaliation for his remarks”.
“We will not rest until your thrones and your crosses have been destroyed on your own territory,” said the group, which has claimed many attacks against US and government forces in Iraq.
More enraged Muslims prove the Pope’s point.
An Arab op-ed threatens: Pope’s remarks may lead to war.
Security has been tightened for the Pope’s weekly Sunday blessing tomorrow. The Pontif will give his traditional Sunday address at midday (2000 AEST) from the balcony of his summer residence at Castel Gandolfo, just south of Rome.
The eruption of rage in some quarters of the Islamic world against Pope Benedict XVI requires that several tough things be said.
Painful though it may be, speaking frankly is necessary if there is to be honest and open dialogue between the Abrahamic faiths. Given the reaction to Benedict’s address, though, one wonders if that dialogue is even possible.
The Pope devoted almost 4,000 words to examining the relationship between faith and reason, and the prospect for dialogue between modernity and the world of religion.
In the course of that address he quoted a dialogue recorded between the Byzantine (Christian) Emperor Manuel II Paleologus and an erudite Persian on the subject of Christianity and Islam. The dialogue took place during the siege of Constantinople between 1394 and 1402.
During their conversation, the Pope said, the Emperor “turns to his interlocutor somewhat brusquely with the central question on the relationship between religion and violence in general, in these words: ‘Show me just what Muhammad brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.’ ”
Benedict was quoting a 14th-century Christian emperor, under siege from the Ottomans, defending the position that spreading religion by violence is contrary to the nature of God. The Emperor, quite reasonably given his circumstances, suggested to his Persian interlocutor such a view did not prevail in Islamic thought.
In response to this historical excursus in an academic lecture by one of the world’s most erudite theologians, we are witnessing a wave of madness and malice, no doubt an embarrassment to millions of Muslims.
An embarrasment to some. An inspiration to far more.
Continuing, de Souza rights the jihadists’ historical wrongs:
It does a disservice to children to call the wild-eyed statements and deranged behaviour of the past days childish.
It is not only the obscenity of the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist terrorist band suppressed in several Muslim states, demanding an apology from anyone, let alone the Holy Father.
It is not only the grandstanding Pakistani politicians passing resolutions condemning a papal speech few read, and even fewer understood. It is not only the extraneous charges about the Holocaust and Hitler by the agitated and excited.
It is that we have seen this before.
When Pope John Paul II made his epic pilgrimage to the Holy Land, Palestinian Muslim representatives jostled him on the Temple Mount, shouted at him, and, in one episode of maximum rudeness, abandoned him on stage during an interfaith meeting. Bashir Assad, the Syrian President, treated him to an anti-Semitic rant when the late pope visited Syria.
Catholic goodwill toward global Islam is severely attenuated by such continued maltreatment of our universal pastors.
And it is well past time that the maltreatment of history ceased too.
The irony of the accusations that Pope Benedict has a “Crusader mentality” is that he was speaking about the period in which the Crusades themselves took place.
Catholics have for quite some time now confessed the sinful and wicked shadows that marked the Crusades, but any suggestion the whole affair was about rapacious Christians setting upon irenic Muslims must be rejected.
After all, the formerly Christian lands of North Africa, the Middle East and Asia Minor were not converted to Islam by Muslim missionary martyrs. Those lands were conquered by the sword.
The Crusader idea was that they could be recovered. Who wronged who first is a fruitless historical inquiry, but historical honesty requires an admission that Muslims wronged as much as they were wronged against.
The sword of Islam is carried today by self-professed jihadis. In most countries with Muslim majorities, Christians do not have the full freedom to practise their faith without fear.
Whether private harassment or state-sanctioned torture, Christians the world over know all too well that the sword of Islam has not been sheathed. No doubt the extreme reaction to Benedict’s address will serve the purpose of keeping local Christians in their place throughout the Islamic world.
For telling these blunt, unshirking truths, Father de Souza will no doubt earn his own firebomb and fatwa squad.
I believe Oriana Fallaci would have approved.
Father Samir K. Samir also speaks out:
“Rather than criticizing Islam, the pope is actually offering it a helping hand by suggesting that it do away with the cycle of violence,” Fr. Samir K. Samir, SJ one of the Vatican’s leading experts on Islam wrote in the Catholic newspaper Asia News.
The pope’s academic lecture “was trying to show how Western society-including the Church-has become secularized by removing from the concept of Reason its spiritual dimension and origins which are in God,” Fr. Samir stated.
…The tragedy in this controversy, Fr. Samir suggested was that “only by listening to the Pope’s suggestions, and those of a few Muslim intellectuals, can Islam’s chances for renewal become real.”
“It is high time that Islam deal with modernity; not to be swallowed up by it, but rather to take what good it has to offer and improve on it,” he said.
Dafydd has fun with the Dhimmi Times.
Speaking of dhimmis, meet the head of the Coptic Christian church, who has joined jihadists in denouncing the Pope.