Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Papal assassin warns Pope Benedict his 'life is in danger' if he visits Turkey | News | This is London

Papal assassin warns Pope Benedict his 'life is in danger' if he visits Turkey | News | This is London

Pope Benedict faces a growing chorus of demands to make an unequivocal apology for remarks seen as portraying Islam as a violent faith, despite attempts by Western leaders and churchmen to defuse the crisis.

The calls came as it emerged papal hitman Mehmet Ali Agca, who is serving a life sentence for the attempted assassination of Pope John Paul II in May 1981, has written to Pope Benedict XVI from jail, warning him not to go to Turkey as planned in November in the light of his remarks.

Agca, a Turk gave his ominous warning in a letter to an Italian daily newspaper.


In a telegram to the order of an Italian nun killed in Somalia who may be the crisis' first victim, the Pope hoped her sacrifice would help build "real fraternity among people with reciprocal respect of everyone's religious convictions".

But the deluge of criticism and threats continued. Italian media said an al Qaeda group in Egypt called for the German-born Pope, who is 79, to be punished by strict Islamic sharia law for insulting their religion. An al Qaeda umbrella group in Iraq has also vowed war on "worshippers of the cross".

Workers at Turkey's Directorate General for Religious Affairs, or Diyanet, petitioned for the arrest of the Pontiff when he makes a scheduled visit to Turkey in November.

They held banners saying "Either apologise or don't come". The Pope's comments annoyed the Turkish government but there are no plans yet to cancel the trip.

In Iraq, where an effigy of the Pope was burnt on Monday, parliament speaker Mahmoud al-Mashhadani called his apology "inadequate and not commensurate with the moral damage caused to Muslims' feelings".

The Grand Mufti of the Palestinian Territories, Sheikh Mohammad Hussein, said the Pope must make "a personal and clear apology to 1.5 billion Muslims in this world for the insult caused by his lecture..."

In his two page letter to leading Italian Rome based daily La Repubblica, Agca, who was a member of the Turkish terrorist cell the White Wolves, wrote: "Pope Ratzinger listen to someone who knows these things very well.

"Your life is in danger. You absolutely must not come to Turkey. Pope Benedict you must know that between 1980 and 2000 I was in contact with various Western intelligence services and with the Vatican.

"In those twenty tears I learnt many things and I came into possession of many classified secrets."

The letter closed with Agca imploring Pope Benedict to resign for his own safety he wrote: "For your own welfare you must make a grand gesture of honour and resign.

"Then you must return to your native land (Germany) and in your place an Italian cardinal can be elected Pope, possibly (cardinal Dionigi) Tettamanzi or (cardinal Tarcisio) Bertone.

"Then the Vatican should become a centre of peace and fraternity. The world has a need of this it does not need hatred and vendetta."

Agca was jailed for his attempted assassination of Pope John Paul II in St Peter's Square in May 1981 and in 2000 he was allowed to return to Turkey to serve the rest of his sentence.

Earlier this year he was briefly freed from his life sentence after a judge released him but after a huge outcry he was jailed again within days and is now at Istanbul's Kartal Maltepe jail and not due for release until 2012.

In Italy, politicians and churchmen defended the Pope and said his words were taken out of context and his explanation was quite clear.

Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano published it in Arabic on its front page to try to clarify his meaning.

But while some Muslim clerics say the alleged insults are the latest skirmish in a new Western 'crusade' against Islam, some Catholic churchmen say the Pontiff's words have been purposefully twisted by militant Muslims.

"We pray for the Pope whose words have been maliciously interpreted," Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe said in Naples at the annual 'miracle' of fourth century Saint Gennaro, whose blood turns from powder to liquid in what is seen as a good omen.

The head of Australia's 5.1 million-strong Catholic church went as far as to say that violent reaction "justified one of Pope Benedict's main fears" about Islam.

Cardinal George Pell said this showed "the link for many Islamists between religion and violence, their refusal to respond to criticism with rational arguments, but only with demonstrations, threats and actual violence". Local Muslims called Pell's comments 'unhelpful'.

I had to copy one person'a comment about this article in

"I ask you one thing, now that the Pope has been insulted, blamed, threatened with death, why dont the Catholics riot in the streets?

- Rul Antal, germany"

Ha ha ha! Thanks Rul!


Anonymous said...

I dont understand why people have reacted in such violent ways to the pope's comments, especially since they weren't originally his opinion. All these people are doing is reinforcing the stereotype that all Muslims are horrible, violent people. I doubt if any of these people even READ the Quran, if they did, they would realise they are committing great sins and going against the teachings of the very man they are "defending". I also am curous as to why they react this way when the prophet Muhammad (may peace be upon him) is slandered, but do nothing when Jesus (may peace be upon him) is scorned on a daily basis by people who doubt his prophecy. Aren't we Muslims supposed to respect all the prophets equally? After all, the teaching of the Quran is that all people are equal in the eyes of God, including the prophets.

I thought this was interesting. I hope one of those fenatic Muslims reads this.

Prophet Muhammad (peace be on him) sent a message to the monks of Saint Catherine in Mount Sinai:
"This is a message written by Muhammad ibn Abdullah, as a covenant to those who adopt Christianity, far and near, we are behind them. Verily, I defend them by myself, the servants, the helpers, and my followers, because Christians are my citizens; and by Allah! I hold out against anything that displeases them. No compulsion is to be on them. Neither are their judges to be changed from their jobs, nor their monks from their monasteries. No one is to destroy a house of their religion, to damage it, or to carry anything from it to the Muslims' houses. Should anyone take any of these, he would spoil God's covenant and disobey His Prophet. Verily, they (Christians) are my allies and have my secure charter against all that they hate. No one is to force them to travel or to oblige them to fight. The Muslims are to fight for them. If a female Christian is married to a Muslim, this is not to take place without her own wish. She is not to be prevented from going to her church to pray. Their churches are to be respected. They are neither to be prevented from repairing them nor the sacredness of their covenants. No one of the nation is to disobey this covenant till the Day of Judgment and the end of the world." (Reference: Muslims and Non-Muslims Face to Face by Dr Ahmad H Sakr, isbn: 0911119-31-9)

Scott said...

Yeah, so this is where a moderate muslim assures all of us that christians, as "people of the book", along with jews, have nothing to fear from muslims. A couple of problems with this.
1. christians get killed by muslims all the time
2. jews get killed by muslims all the time. This is a total understatement!
3. I'm not a jew or a christian. I'm an atheist. I reject all religious books, all gods, all prophets. I KNOW the muslims would like to kill me most of all. I am an infidel, and I admit it. So I don't give a rats ass what mohammed wrote to the monastery. Was that before or after he slaughtered the jews in medina?