By Jon Christian Ryter
September 20, 2006
Following a demand by Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh for the pope to apologize, Palestinian Muslims fire-bombed five West Bank and Gaza Christian Churches on Sept. 16. Two of the churches that were fire-bombed with Molotov cocktails were Roman Catholic. Two were Greek Orthodox. The fifth, in Nablus, was Anglican. Four of the churches were in the West Bank and the fifth, one of the Greek Orthodox churches, was in Gaza.
Salih Kapusuz, deputy to Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, said the pope's remarks were either "...the result of pitiful ignorance" about Islam and its Prophet or, worse, a deliberate distortion. "He has a dark mentality," Kapusuz said, "that comes from the Middle Ages. [His remarks look] like an effort to revive the mentality of the Crusades." Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad Ali Hosseini said Pope Benedict made a big mistake, and "...contradicted his own leadership of a divine religion." When the Vatican offered an apology to the world's Muslim population on behalf of the pope, Lebanon's senior Shiite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah, told worshippers in Beirut that the Muslim world "...[does not] accept the apology through Vatican channels." Fadallah added that the Muslim community asks "...[Pope Benedict] to offer a personal apology—not through his officials." Over the weekend, when the Vatican once again proffered an apology from the pope, Mohammed Bishr, a senior member of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, reiterated that "...[w]e will not accept others to apologize on his behalf."
England's Muslim community—which now has a respectful fear the British government—quickly accepted the pontiff's apology and argued for calm. "We praise [the pope's] apology," said Muhammad Umar, chairman of England's Ramadhan Foundation, "and we hope we can work together to build bridges. At the same time, we would condemn all forms of violent demonstration." But Muhammad Abdul Bari, general-secretary of the Muslim Council of Britain, insisted that the pope repudiate the views he quoted in order to restore relations with the Muslim community.
Malyasian Prime Minister Abdullah Admad Badawi—the same man who President George W. Bush commended for his democratic principles on Monday—condemned the pope last Friday, demanding that Benedict retract his remarks and not "...take lightly the spread of outrage that has been created." Forcing the pontiff to recant or retract his words is tantamount to a denial of the truth of the words. The Muslims know that. So does the Vatican. Bush commented that Pope Benedict made some apologies for his remarks. Bush said the pope was sincere, suggesting by his comment that the Muslim world should drop the issue. But, why would they? It is a rallying cry for Jihad around the world when al Qaeda desperately needed recruits in Iraq and Afghanistan.
When the flack started, the first statement was issued by Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi who said that "...[i]t is clear that the Holy Father's intention is to cultivate a position of respect and dialogue towards other religions and cultures, and that clearly includes Islam." The pontiff, who uttered a statement of fact to support the view that Islam converts by the sword and not by faith, was upset by the manner in which his remarks were interpreted by the Muslim world as 150 demonstrators in Basra, Iraq burned an effigy of Pope Benedict. Another hundred-or-so demonstrators protested outside the Vatican embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia, 150 more demonstrated at an Islamic shrine in Damascus and Egypt expelled the Vatican envoy.
In their rage, the al Qaeda-backed Mujahideen Shura Council—hoping to entice new terrorists to join the jihad—is actually reinforcing what Pope Benedict said. "We tell the worshippers of the cross that you and the West will be defeated as in the case of Iraq, Afghanistan and Chechnya." They have resolutely made the pope's case. "You infidels and despots, we will continue our jihad and never stop until God avails us to chop our necks and raise the fluttering banner of monotheism, when God's rule is established governing all people and nations." By vowing to fight Christianity and threatening to spill Christian blood until Islam conquers the world, al Qaeda has confirmed that Islam converts with the sword. In a prepared statement that was published on the Internet, the al Qaeda mujahedeen consultive council in Iraq said it "...will engage in Jihad until the west is won over...We say to [Pope Benedict] the servant of the cross: wait for defeat...We say to the infidels and tyrants: wait for what will afflict you. We continue our [holy war]. We will not stop until the banner of [Islam] flies throughout the world. We will smash the cross...You will have no choice but Islam or death." Two other terrorist groups: Jaish al-Mujahedeen (the Mujahedeen's Army) and Asaeb al-Iraq al-Jihadiya (League of Jihadists in Iraq) also published responses that made it clear the extremists would carry jihad to the world as Islamic extremists began demanding and Islamic army march on Rome and execute Pope Benedict.
Around the world police agencies greatly increased security around both Protestant and Catholic churches. In London, police launched an investigation into remarks made by Anjem Choudhary, deputy to Kamran Bokhari, the spokesman for the British Muslim extremist group, Al Muhajiroun. Bokhari was invited by the Muslim Student Association at Southwest Missouri State University to address the student body. The university picked up tab for Bokhari—who declared that Osama Bin Laden was a 'scapegoat' for the United States. He also referred to the American Founding Fathers as 'terrorists.' in order to give Muslim terrorists credibility in the eyes of Americans who can't tell the difference between a citizen army fighting the army of a another nation and terrorists waging war on unarmed women and children. Choudary who held a demonstration of Muslim outside Westminster Cathedral on Sunday in which he inflamed the crowd as he demanded the execution of Pope Benedict. The 39-year old English citizen is a lawyer who organized a trouble-sparked protest in February over the Danish cartoons of Muhammad. The placards carried during that demonstration said: "Behead Those Who Insult Islam." "Non-Muslims," Choudhary told the London Daily Mail, "must...understand that there may be serious consequences if you insult Islam—and the Prophet. Whoever insults the message of Muhammad is going to be subject to capital punishment."
The extremist group Ansar al-Sunna in Iraq issued a statement on Monday decrying the pathetic advocacy of the Muslim world by challenging "sleeping Muslims" to prove their manhood by doing something more than just making statements or holding demonstrations. "If the stupid pig is prancing with his blasphemies in his house, then let him wait for the day coming soon when the armies of the religion of right knocks on the walls of Rome." Although it has been hard for the radicals to whip up the fervor they were able to generate during the Danish Muhammad cartoon flap, the extremists were nevertheless successful in convincing the Muslim world—and the European media—that Pope Benedict's comments prove that the West is waging a war against Islam. In speaking before the UN, Bush told the assembled dignitaries that the United States is not waging war against Islam. The US is, the president reiterated, waging a war against terrorists who have waged war against America. Of course, as the Muslim world knows, it's the same thing. America just hasn't figured that one out yet because they prefer to believe that Islam is not a religion of hate, and Islam is not bent on world domination, using, as Pope Benedict pointed out, the sword instead of faith as its primary instrument of conversion.
Yet, the Pope was not implying in his remarks that Islam is wholly violent or that the subjugation of the world's population is their core objective—although, by the statements of the Wahabbi extremists, we know it is the core objective of radical Islam. However, while the Christian Old Testament instructed the Hebrews leaving Egypt to conquer the lands that God bequeathed them and, in Joshua, I and II Chronicles, I and II Kings and Esther, to kill those who would otherwise harm or defile the Jews, there are no universal instructions in the Christian Bible or the Torah such as those found in the Qur'an that mandate the conversion of the unbelievers by the sword—or the subjugation of the conquered peoples as an inferior class of people.
The Wahabbists within the Muslim world will use any offense—regardless how slight—as an excuse to declare Jihad against the nonbeliever. There appears to be a perpetual chip on the Islamic shoulder that leads to bloodshed whenever it is is dislodged—such as being struck by a light breeze on a balmy afternoon. That may be what led Egyptian Coptic Pope Shenouda III to say: "Any remark which offends Islam and Muslims are against the teachings of Christ." That statement, of course, is not true, since Christ repeatedly told His followers that He was the Way, the Truth and the Light; and that no one would go to the Father except through Him. And, quite frankly, to a Muslim—them's fightin' words. For part one click below.
here for part -----> 1.
© 2006 Jon C. Ryter - All Rights
[Read "Whatever Happened to America?"]
Jon Christian Ryter is the pseudonym of a former newspaper reporter with the Parkersburg, WV Sentinel. He authored a syndicated newspaper column, Answers From The Bible, from the mid-1970s until 1985. Answers From The Bible was read weekly in many suburban markets in the United States.
Today, Jon is an advertising executive with the Washington Times. His website, www.jonchristianryter.com has helped him establish a network of mid-to senior-level Washington insiders who now provide him with a steady stream of material for use both in his books and in the investigative reports that are found on his website.