Benedict visits Turkey:
ANKARA, Turkey - Pope Benedict XVI urged leaders of all religions Tuesday to "utterly refuse" to support any form of violence in the name of faith, while Turkey's top Muslim cleric complained to the pontiff of growing "Islamophobia" in the world.Here we see the Pope's discretion and Islam's utter inability to avoid the ironic. If the world is Islamophobic ("phobic" implies the irrational fear of something), then it is because too many of the Ummah are carrying out violence against and seeking to intimidate into compliance non-Muslims in the name of their god.
By one count, Muslims have carried out nearly 7000 terrorist attacks since 9/11.
As he began his first visit to a Muslim country - a trip that drew extraordinary security but few onlookers - Benedict sought a careful balance as he extended friendship and brotherhood to Muslims, hoping to end the outcry from many Muslims over his remarks linking Islam to violence.The outcry was not because of a false claim, it was because a non-Muslim had the audacity to speak of the Religion of Hate in a less-than-approving tone.
...the German pope also hammered away at key points of his 18-month papacy, telling diplomats that leaders of all religions must "utterly refuse to sanction recourse to violence as a legitimate expression of faith."Obviously, Benedict was referring in a very diplomatic way to the Religion Which Cannot Be Named, since it is Mahomet's god requiring the fighting against, subduing and humiliating, and killing of non-Muslims to make the world Islam.
I haven't seen lately any Methodists beheading girls on their way to school as an "act of charity."
He avoided mention of any specific religion, even as he decried terrorism and the "disturbing conflicts across the Middle East."This begs the question: If Media can read between the lines when Benedict gently admonishes Islam, why can't it comprehend the giant, fifty-foot billboards from Allah painted in Infidel and Apostate blood? Why must it always be "alienated youths" or "insurgents" reacting to perceived (and fabricated) offenses?
Benedict also said guarantees of religious freedom are essential for a just society, and the Vatican said he raised specific issues such as property rights of Turkey's tiny 32,000-member Catholic community during talks with Turkish officials.And how did the people of what was once a Christian kingdom come to have its religious liberties denied? A quick read of "On the Fall of Constantinople" (top right) will help answer that question.
His comments could be reinforced later during the four-day visit when the pope meets in Istanbul with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, the spiritual leader of the world's Orthodox Christians.That there is any Christian presence left in Muslim lands is testament to the grace of God and the spirit of the people.
The pope is expected to call for greater rights and protections for Christian minorities in the Muslim world, including the small Greek Orthodox community in Turkey.
...Benedict's journey is extraordinarily sensitive, a closely watched pilgrimage full of symbolism that could offer hope of religious reconciliation or deepen what many say is a growing divide between the Christian and Islamic worlds.What is the reason for that divide? Could the commands to "...kill the unbelievers wherever you find them," "Fight against...the People of the Book until they feel themselves subdued and pay the jizya," and "When you meet the unbelievers...invite them to three courses of action...[convert, submit, or war]" have something to do with it?
With religious adherence to such commands, what hope is there of reconciliation?
Seeking to ease anger over his perceived criticism of Islam, Benedict met with Ali Bardakoglu, who heads religious affairs in Turkey, warmly grasping hands. Benedict sat nearby as the Muslim cleric defended his religion.Rather than condemn fear and criticism of an ideology that commands the Sword to subdue the world under Allah, perhaps Mr. Bardakoglu should work to dissuade his coreligionists from pursuing that ideology.
"The so-called conviction that the sword is used to expand Islam in the world and growing Islamophobia hurts all Muslims," Bardakoglu said.
The comment appeared to be a reference to Benedict's remarks in a speech in September when he quoted a 14th-century Christian emperor who characterized the Prophet Muhammad's teachings as "evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by thy sword the faith he preached."Why did Manuel II Palaeologus "characterize" the false prophet Mohammed's teachings in this way? It is because he had personally experienced the faithful carrying out those commands against his kingdom and its people. In fact, Constantine XI, Manuel's son, died defending the Great City against the hordes of Allah in 1453. Its fall meant the slaughter (and worse) of many of its inhabitants.
The Vatican described the cleric's speech as "positive, respectful and non-polemical," applauding what the church sees as efforts for a true dialogue between faiths.It's hard to talk with a blade at your throat.
On Sunday, more than 25,000 Turks showed up to an anti-Vatican protest in Istanbul, asking the pope to stay at home, but on the streets of Ankara most people went about their usual business and only a tiny protest was held outside the religious affairs office hours before the pope arrived.So much for that "tiny minority of extremists."
"All feel the same responsibility in this difficult moment in history, let's work together," Benedict said during his flight from Rome to Ankara, where more than 3,000 police and sharpshooters joined a security effort that surpassed even the visit of President Bush two years ago.Islam is the Religion of Tolerance.
"We know that the scope of this trip is dialogue and brotherhood and the commitment for understanding between cultures ... and for reconciliation," he said.There can be no brotherhood between good and evil.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan - in a last-minute change of plans - welcomed the pope at the foot of the plane and described the visit as "very meaningful." Erdogan's political party has Islamic roots, though the government is secular.Turkey will soon be formerly secular, since despite the efforts of Ataturk to suppress the expression of Islam and separate it from its Allah-ordained legal and political supremacy, its people are moving ever closer to establishing the rule of Allah.
In his first official act, Benedict visited the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey, and wrote a message in a guest book calling Turkey "a meeting point of different religions and cultures and a bridge between Asia and Europe."
Turkey should fit right in with France in the Eurabian Union.
...It was his first visit to a Muslim country as pontiff. The original goal of the pope's trip to Turkey was to meet Bartholomew I, leader of the world's 300 million Orthodox Christians. The two major branches of Christianity represented by Bartholomew and Benedict split in 1054 over differences in opinion on the power of the papacy, and the two spiritual heads will meet in an attempt to breach the divide and reunite the churches.Islam cannot tolerate Christians worshiping in lands Muslims have rightfully conquered. And the tragedy of Christian lands being enslaved, raped, and slaughtered by Islam is about to be performed in places whose peoples are not only unaware of the horror to come, they are inviting into their lands the actors who will carry it out.
Benedict leaves Ankara on Wednesday for Ephesus, where the Virgin Mary is thought to have spent her last years, and will then travel to Istanbul.
A closely watched moment of the trip will come Thursday during Benedict's visit to Haghia Sophia, a 1,500-year-old site that was originally a Byzantine church and then turned into a mosque after the Muslim conquest of Istanbul - then known as Constantinople - in 1453. It is now a museum, and Turks would take offense at any religious gestures by the pontiff, who also plans to visit the nearby Blue Mosque.
In 1967, Pope Paul VI fell to his knees in prayer, touching off protests by Turks claiming he violated the secular nature of the domed complex. In 1979, Pope John Paul II made no overt religious signs during his visit.