Monday, September 18, 2006

The Pope must die, says Muslim | News | This is London

The Pope must die, says Muslim | News | This is London:

"Choudary's appeal for the death of Pope Benedict was the second time he has been linked with apparent incitement to murder within a year.

The 39-year-old lawyer organised

demonstrations against the publication of cartoons of Mohammed in February in Denmark. Protesters carried placards declaring 'Behead Those Who Insult Islam'.

Yesterday he said: 'The Muslims take their religion very seriously and non-Muslims must appreciate that and that must also understand that there may be serious consequences if you insult Islam and the prophet.

'Whoever insults the message of Mohammed is going to be subject to capital punishment.'

He added: 'I am here have a peaceful demonstration. But there may be people in Italy or other parts of the world who would carry that out.

'I think that warning needs to be understood by all people who want to insult Islam and want to insult the prophet of Islam.'

As well as placards attacking the Pope such as 'Pope go to Hell', his followers outside the country's principal Roman Catholic church also waved slogans aimed at offending the sentiments of Christians such as 'Jesus is the slave of Allah'.

A Scotland Yard spokesman said of his comments: 'We have had no complaints about this. There were around 100 people at the demonstration. It passed off peacefully and there were no arrests.'

Larger Islamic groups in Britain said they accepted the Pope's apology. Inayat Bunglawala of the Muslim Council of Britain said: 'The Vatican has moved quickly to deal with the hurt and we accept that.

[...]

The Pope appeared determined to move quickly to try to defuse the anger but the fury of many radicals was unabated last night and there were fears for his safety.

Iraqi jihadists issued a video of a scimitar slicing a cross in two, intercut with images of Benedict and the burning Twin Towers.

The website run in the name of the Mujahedeen Army, used by extremist groups who have claimed responsibility for attacks in Iraq, was addressed to "You dog of Rome" and threatened to "shake your thrones and break your crosses in your home".

In a reference to suicide bombing, it said: "We swear to God to send you people who adore death as much as you adore life."

The threat of violence against Catholics and Christians was emphasised by the murder of an Italian nun in Somalia. Sister Leonella, 66, was shot as she walked from the children's hospital where she worked to her house in Mogadishu, a city recently taken over by an Islamic government.

A Vatican spokesman said he feared her death was "the fruit of violence and irrationality arising from the current situation".

Father Frederico Lombardi said he hoped it was an isolated event. "We are worried about this wave of hatred and hope it doesn't have any grave consequences for the Church around the world," he said.

The murder suggested that extremists are determined to use the Pope's embarrassment as an excuse for violence.

[...]

There were fierce denunciations of the pontiff from Iran. The English-language Tehran Times called his lecture in Bavaria last week "code words for a new crusade".

The powerful cleric Ahmad Khatami told theological students in the holy city of Qom: The "Pope should fall on his knees in front of a senior Muslim cleric and try to understand Islam.""

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