Pope's Explanations Not Good Enough for Radical Islam, Threats Against Pontiff Continue

Threats, demonstrations and calls for protest continue in the Muslim world. Iran’s Khamenei talks about a US-Zionist crusade, a Saudi paper evokes a clash of civilisations, al-Qaeda threatens more defeats and an Indonesian group wants to crucify the Pope.

Beirut (AsiaNews) – A day of wrath, breaking off diplomatic relations with the Holy See, burning Benedict XVI in effigy, accusing the Pontiff of complicity with the US and Zionism, explanation given not god enough or of no importance, plus other assorted threats, are but some of the reactions by radical Muslims to the remarks the Pope made yesterday to explain his thoughts on Islam

On behalf of the World Union of Muslim Ulemas, Qatari Muslim scholar, Yusuf al-Qaradawi has called for day of anger this Friday. Interviewed by al-Jazeera, Al-Qaradawi said that Benedict XVI did not apologise and so the world’ Muslims should express their anger in an hour-long demonstration and sit-in inside mosques at the end of the prayer before Ramadan starts without attacking any church, place of worship or anyone’s else property. He also urged ambassadors of Muslim countries to make a formal written protest to the Holy See and boycott all ceremonies at the Vatican.

In Egypt some lawmakers have called for suspending diplomatic relations with Vatican.

In Palestine Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri stated that what the Pope said yesterday do not even appear to be “apologies”.

Iranian government spokesman Gholam-Hossein Elham followed suite saying that Pope Benedict XVI provided a “good but not enough” explanation for his recent remarks.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Monday that Pope Benedict’s remarks on Islam were in line with what he called a US-Zionist ‘crusade’ against Islam that began with the invasion of Iraq in 2003 and continued with the Muhammad cartoons and statements by some western politicians. The most important part of this project is to sow conflict between religions to reach their satanic objectives. Khamenei urged the faithful to include the ‘Great Satan”, that is the United States, in their protest against the Pope.

Some Jordanian Muslim and Christian lawmakers were part of the fifty or so protesters who took part in a sit-in organised by 14 trade unions in Amman that slammed Zionism. In their view, the Pope’s words “fuel a vicious campaign of hatred launched by international Zionism against our nation and future.” A Christian member of parliament, Awdeh Kawass, said that the Pope’s criticism was “insulting to all Arabs, both Muslim and Christians, and that his explanations are insufficient.”

For Saudi daily Al-Youm, Benedict’s remarks are not a “simple error”, but show “a total agreement with extreme rightwing ideas in the US about the clash of civilisation”.

Even the head of China’s tightly-controlled Chinese community, Chen Guangyuan, spoke out claiming that Benedict XVI “insulted Islam and its prophet Muhammad at the same time”.

In the Iraqi city of Basra, some 500 demonstrators burnt Benedict in effigy, whilst Al-Qaeda in Iraq said that the Pope should “prepare himself to the defeat seen every day in Iraq, Afghanistan and Chechnya.”

Another terrorist group, Ansar al-Sunna has made online threats against the West, especially It
aly: “Against your arrogance we reserve the sword”.

In Indonesia, another radical group, the Islamic Defence Front, called for the Pope to be “crucified”.

(Posting date 18 September 2006; AsiaNews.net 18 September 2006.

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