* What will the pontiff do with it? Cut off the heads of disbelievers and Jews? Or use it to chop the bread for Christmas dinner?
The king of Saudi Arabia met today with Pope Benedict XVI – the first ever between a pontiff an a reigning Saudi monarch – amid Vatican concerns about restrictions on Christian worship in the Muslim kingdom.
The Vatican said the “positive presence and work of Christians was raised” during the talks between Benedict and King Abdullah, who is protector of Islam’s holiest sites.
The talks were “warm” and allowed a wide discussion on the need for interreligious and intercultural dialogue among Christians, Muslims and Jews “for the promotion of peace, justice and spiritual and moral values, especially in support of the family,” the Vatican said in a statement.
The Pope and the king discussed Christian worship in the Muslim country
Both sides also emphasized the need for a “just solution” to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the Vatican said. Benedict has said he wants to reach out to all countries that still don’t have diplomatic relations with the Holy See, which include Saudi Arabia and China.
At the same time, Benedict and other Vatican officials have often protested that Christians are unable to worship openly in Saudi Arabia and are barred from opening churches in the desert kingdom.
The Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano said the Vatican hoped the meeting would produce a frank dialogue between the two sides over the issue, noting that there are more than 1 million Christian guest workers in Saudi Arabia.
Abdullah also met separately with the Vatican secretary of state, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone.
At the start of the audience, Benedict warmly greeted Abdullah, grasping both his hands before heading into 30 minutes of private talks in his library.
The Vatican said Abdullah had requested the audience, which came during his European tour. He had visited the Vatican twice before, as crown prince and deputy prime minister.
At the end of the meeting, Abdullah presented Benedict with a traditional Middle Eastern gift – a golden sword studded with jewels – as well as a gold and silver statue of a palm tree and man riding a camel.
The pope admired the statue but merely touched the sword.
Just imagine Pope Benedict XVI giving anyone a sword. He wouldn’t, because such a gift would be inconsistent with his own self-image as a Christian leader, and with his view of Christianity. He views Christianity as a religion of peace. At his meeting with Abdullah, the contrast between the two religions, so controverted and controversial elsewhere, was plain, and taken for granted.
More from Reuters
Benedict sparked anger in the Muslim world in 2006 when he delivered a speech linking Islam to violence.
He said he was misunderstood and regretted offending Muslims. Since then, he has met a number of Islamic leaders and a year ago visited predominantly Muslim Turkey.
The Vatican has said it wants to pursue a dialogue with moderate Muslims.
* So would we. Unfortunately we can’t find any…
With thanks to Gramfan
Of the nineteen hijackers who attacked this nation on September 11, 2001, fifteen were Saudi Arabian. Moreover, each and every one of the nineteen hijackers was personally chosen and provided with training and financing by yet another Saudi native â€“ Osama bin Laden. Yet from that day to this, in spite of these disturbing and incontrovertible facts, members of the Bush administration have glibly and incessantly assured us that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is in fact one of our closest friends and allies in the War on Terror. Fifteen Saudis murdered nearly 3,000 Americans on live TV, all at the behest of one of the Kingdom’s prodigal sons. How can these facts possibly be mere trivia?
tolerance reality is different:
Indonesia Sentences 41 Christian To Five Years Imprisonment, report
Most people in Indonesia are Muslims and spreading Christianity remains
controversial hazardous to your health. Pictured: a Muslim rally in Jakarta.
JAKARTA, INDONESIA (BosNewsLife)– An Indonesian court has sentenced 41 Christian leaders to five years imprisonment on charges of blasphemy because they openly prayed that Muslims “come to know Christ,” local Christians and a well-informed human rights group told BosNewsLife Thursday, November 1.
Our ‘Friends’ in Kuwait:
Advises Bin Laden On Avoiding Mistakes In Al-Qaeda’s Jihad
Al-Tabatabai clearly shares Osama’s vision of an Islamized America. He just doesn’t think his strategy is as effective as it could be. From MEMRI
In 2002, President Bush repudiated rhetorical attacks on Islam by evangelical leaders. Media reports at the time said the president’s remarks were prompted by attacks on Islam, particularly those of Pat Robertson, who said that Muslims are “worse than the Nazis.” Bush said: “Some of the comments that have been uttered about Islam do not reflect the sentiments of my government or the sentiments of most Americans.”
* Bush wouldn’t say things like that because he is deeply in the Saudi pockets..
Then Secretary of State Colin Powell echoed the president’s remarks when he told a State Department audience, “This kind of hatred must be rejected.” The director of the American Jewish Committee called Robertson’s “Nazi” comment “outrageous.” …
* Calling an ideology of hatred a hateful ideology is a bad thing for some US officials? Who will protect us from such people? But this just goes to show that Powell was as clueless about Islam as Condi Rice, his successor…And for the director of the American Jewish CommitteeÂ who called Robertson’s “Nazi” comment “outrageous”- is he just a clueless idiot or a good dhimmi, or both?
“It is truly disturbing that a presidential candidate of any party would accept the endorsement and seek the advice of a person with such a clear record of anti-Muslim bigotry,” said CAIR National Legislative Director Corey Saylor.
Rudy Giuliani is quickly becoming CAIR’s least favorite presidential candidate.
* ‘Anti-Muslim bigotry?’ Is there such a thing? Is a desire for self-preservation not a natural instinct and every free mans birthright?