Catholics and Muslims and Fires, oh my!

In case you’ve completely missed the news this week, the Pope has gotten some heat for remarks he made about Islam. He wasn’t giving personal opinion, but quoted from a text recounting a conversation between 14th century Byzantine Christian Emperor Manuel Paleologos II and an educated Persian on the truths of Christianity and Islam. “The emperor comes to speak about the issue of jihad, holy war,” the pope said. “He said, I quote, ’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.”’

Muslims around the world have reacted to this statement in anger, causing the burnings of both Catholic and Protestant churches. Some examples:

“Earlier Sunday in the West Bank, two churches were set on fire as anger over the pope’s comments grew throughout the Palestinian territories.”

“In the town of Tulkarem, a 170-year-old stone church was torched before dawn and its interior was destroyed, Christian officials said. In the village of Tubas, a small church was attacked with firebombs and partially burned, Christians said. Neither church is Catholic, the officials said.”

“Palestinian Muslims hurled firebombs and opened fire at five churches in the West Bank and Gaza Strip Saturday to protest the Pope’s comments, sparking concerns of a rift between Palestinian Muslims and Christians.”

“Further, an Iraqi insurgent group threatened the Vatican with a suicide attack over the pope’s remarks on Islam. In a message posted on the web it said, “We swear to God to send you people who adore death as much as you adore life,” said the message posted in the name of the Mujahedeen Army on a Web site frequently used by militant groups. The message’s authenticity could not be independently verified. The statement was addressed to “you dog of Rome” and threatens to “shake your thrones and break your crosses in your home.””
See here for the full news article.

It seems to me that they are proving his point. Hello!

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