Pope Speaks Out About Islamic Repression
Pope Benedict has sent another unmistakable candygram to the Islamic world: Pope in ‘freedom’ blast at Islam.
Our 10-day forecast: extended seething, with a 70% chance of rioting and murder by next Friday.
The Pope has again risked provoking the wrath of the Islamic world, by criticising its treatment of Christians.
Benedict XVI attacked Muslim nations where Christians are either persecuted or given the status of second-class citizens under the Shariah Islamic law. He also defended the rights of Muslims to convert to Christianity, an act which warrants the death penalty in many Islamic countries.
His comments came almost exactly a year after he provoked a wave of anger among Muslims by quoting a Byzantine emperor who linked Islam to violence.
Yesterday, near Rome, the 80-year-old pontiff made a speech in “defence of religious liberty”, which, he said “is a fundamental, irrepressible, inalienable and inviolable right”.
In a clear reference to Islam, he said: “The exercise of this freedom also includes the right to change religion, which should be guaranteed not only legally, but also in daily practice.”
Addressing the problem of Islamic extremism, he added: “Terrorism is a serious problem whose perpetrators often claim to act in God’s name and harbour an inexcusable contempt for human life.”
(Hat tip: Weasel Zippers.)
UPDATE at 9/21/07 8:44:40 pm:
Here’s the full text of the speech: Text of Pope Benedict XVI’s Speech to Centrist Democratic International.
(Hat tip: EC Marm.)
UPDATE at 9/21/07 8:49:51 pm:
The Associated Press’s take on the speech is radically different: Pope: War on Terror Must Respect Rights.