VATICAN CITY – Italy’s most prominent Muslim, an iconoclastic writer who condemned Islamic extremism and defended Israel, converted to Catholicism Saturday in a baptism by the pope at a Vatican Easter service.
* Comment by Hugh Fitzgerald:
Tariq Ramadan, of course, will claim — as he has tried to before — that Magdi Allam was never a Muslim, was always a Christian (presumably a Copt). It’s nonsense, but it is the only way Muslims will have to deal with his scathing, unanswerable criticism of Islam and of many Muslims, including his special scorn for the meretricious Tariq Ramadan (see the “Lettera Aperta a Tariq Ramadan” appended to Allam’s penultimate book) and with his conversion to Christianity, since they cannot deal with either the way they would dearly like to, if they could only get their hands on him. Their only recourse is to pretend he was a Christian “all along” and the “Pope of the Vatican” engineered the whole thing, pretending to convert someone who was already Christian, because the Pope is “an agent of the Zionists.” Etcetera etcetera.
Just watch and see if I turn out to be right.
“Your publications of these drawings — part of a new crusade in which the Pope of the Vatican had a significant role –– is a confirmation from you that the war continues,” said the Saudi-born militant leader, addressing “those who are wise at the European Union”.
You are “testing Muslims … the answer will be what you shall see and not what you hear.”
Bin Laden said the publication of the cartoons was a graver offence than the “bombing of modest villages that collapsed over our women children”, in reference to U.S.-led invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan with European participation. “This is the bigger catastrophe … for which the punishment is graver.”