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« on: February 24, 2006, 05:20:18 AM »

Vatican to Muslims: practice what you preach
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Feb 23, 12:54 PM (ET)


PARIS (Reuters) - After backing calls by Muslims for respect for their religion in the Mohammad cartoons row, the Vatican is now urging Islamic countries to reciprocate by showing more tolerance toward their Christian minorities.
Roman Catholic leaders at first said Muslims were right to be outraged when Western newspapers reprinted Danish caricatures of the Prophet, including one with a bomb in his turban. Most Muslims consider any images of Mohammad to be blasphemous.
After criticizing both the cartoons and the violent protests in Muslim countries that followed, the Vatican this week linked the issue to its long-standing concern that the rights of other faiths are limited, sometimes severely, in Muslim countries.

Vatican prelates have been concerned by recent killings of two Catholic priests in Turkey and Nigeria. Turkish media linked the death there to the cartoons row. At least 146 Christians and Muslims have died in five days of religious riots in Nigeria.

"If we tell our people they have no right to offend, we have to tell the others they have no right to destroy us," Cardinal Angelo Sodano, the Vatican's Secretary of State (prime minister), told journalists in Rome.

"We must always stress our demand for reciprocity in political contacts with authorities in Islamic countries and, even more, in cultural contacts," Foreign Minister Archbishop Giovanni Lajolo told the daily Corriere della Sera.

Reciprocity -- allowing Christian minorities the same rights as Muslims generally have in Western countries, such as building houses of worship or practicing religion freely -- is at the heart of Vatican diplomacy toward Muslim states.

Vatican diplomats argue that limits on Christians in some Islamic countries are far harsher than restrictions in the West that Muslims decry, such as France's ban on headscarves in state schools.

Saudi Arabia bans all public expression of any non-Muslim religion and sometimes arrests Christians even for worshipping privately. Pakistan allows churches to operate but its Islamic laws effectively deprive Christians of many rights.

Both countries are often criticized at the United Nations Human Rights Commission for violating religious freedoms.

"ENOUGH TURNING THE OTHER CHEEK"

Pope Benedict signaled his concern on Monday when he told the new Moroccan ambassador to the Vatican that peace can only be assured by "respect for the religious convictions and practices of others, in a reciprocal way in all societies."

He mentioned no countries by name. Morocco is tolerant of other religions, but like all Muslim countries frowns on conversion from Islam to another faith.

Iraqi Christians say they were well treated under Saddam Hussein's secular policies, but believers have been killed, churches burned and women forced to wear Muslim garb since Islamic groups gained sway after the U.S.-led invasion in 2003.

Christians make up only a tiny fraction of the population in most Muslim countries. War and political pressure in recent decades have forced many to emigrate from Middle Eastern communities dating back to just after the time of Jesus.

As often happens at the Vatican, lower-level officials have been more outspoken than the Pope and his main aides.

"Enough now with this turning the other cheek! It's our duty to protect ourselves," Monsignor Velasio De Paolis, secretary of the Vatican's supreme court, thundered in the daily La Stampa. Jesus told his followers to "turn the other cheek" when struck.

"The West has had relations with the Arab countries for half a century, mostly for oil, and has not been able to get the slightest concession on human rights," he said.

Bishop Rino Fisichella, head of one of the Roman universities that train young priests from around the world, told Corriere della Sera the Vatican should speak out more.

"Let's drop this diplomatic silence," said the rector of the Pontifical Lateran University. "We should put pressure on international organizations to make the societies and states in majority Muslim countries face up to their responsibilities."



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« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2006, 05:29:04 AM »

Saw this on drudge and it gave me a good chuckle..... Grin

Do you think there's a snow balls chance in hell the muslims will heed the vaticans advice? I was thinking of what the 'muslims' response back to the vatican would be as kind of a spoof you could say.

How about bout this....Muslims to Vatican: We are!

Maybe this is like the Vatican's finger pointing at the moon so to say... Cheesy
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« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2006, 08:52:59 AM »

You're right - they are already practicing what they preach!  There's no reason for them to change that - just let them convince the world of the evil that Islam embodies!
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« Reply #3 on: February 24, 2006, 08:19:22 PM »

You're right - they are already practicing what they preach!  There's no reason for them to change that - just let them convince the world of the evil that Islam embodies!

You mean 1.8 Billion people are all evil intolerant murderers? I don't think so.


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« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2006, 08:34:11 PM »

You mean 1.8 Billion people are all evil intolerant murderers? I don't think so.

Well the number is probably bigger than that in the way of evil intolerant murderers. Not all of them are Muslims though  Tongue
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« Reply #5 on: February 24, 2006, 08:46:13 PM »

Religion and politics a deadly mix in Nigeria  
By Lydia Polgreen The New York Times

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2006
 
 
ONITSHA, Nigeria Dozens of charred, smoldering bodies littered the streets of this bustling commercial capital Thursday after three days of rioting in which Christian mobs wielding machetes, clubs and knives set upon their Muslim neighbors.
 


Rioters have killed scores of people here, mostly Muslims, after burning their homes, businesses and mosques in the worst violence yet linked to the caricatures of Prophet Muhammad first published in a Danish newspaper.
 
The tumult erupted here after attacks on Christians in northern Nigeria last week by Muslims infuriated over the cartoons.
 
Old ethnic and political tensions between Muslims in the north and Christians here in the south have been reignited, with at least 35 bodies still visible on the streets of Onitsha on Thursday as the city slowly returned to normal after being paralyzed by the riots.
 
The escalating cycle of tit-for-tat sectarian violence pushed the total death toll in the last week toward 100 and perhaps beyond, making Nigeria the worst hit country so far in the caricature controversy.
 
The main thoroughfare leading into the city across the Niger River was covered in carrion - the bodies of Muslim Hausas trying to flee rampaging bands of youths, witnesses said. Many of the victims appeared to have been beaten to death; most of the bodies had been doused with gasoline and burned.
 
Residents combed through the destroyed shops and homes of northern Muslims, looting whatever the flames had not carried away.
 
"These things belong to Igbos," said Sunday Tagbo, 25, referring to the dominant tribe of this region, as he helped himself to sooty car parts left behind by fleeing merchants. "This is Igbo land. No more Muslims can live here."
 
Officials urged calm, and the city's streets returned to a semblance of normality Thursday, with markets open and heavy traffic on the streets.
 
But the damage of three days of carnage was evident. At the central mosque, rioters burned the building and hacked down trees.
 
Someone wrote in chalk on a charred wall: "Jesus is Lord. As from today know more Muhammad."
 
Thousands of Muslim residents fled the city, some on foot over the bridge leading to Delta state, taking refuge in neighboring cities. Thousands more huddled in police and army barracks in Onitsha and surrounding towns.
 
"What has become of us?" lamented Father Joseph Ezeugo, pastor of Immaculate Heart Parish. "This cannot be Nigeria today. We have been living side by side with our Muslim brothers for so long. Why should a cartoon in Denmark bring us to civil war?"
 
But the cartoons, political analysts say, were simply a pretext to act on very old grievances rubbed raw by political tensions.
 
Nigeria is entering a period of great political uncertainty in which it must elect a new president to replace Olusegun Obasanjo, who is barred by term limits from running for re-election. Speculation has been rife that he may try to extend his term.
 
"At the end of the day, it is all politics," said Kayode Fayemi, a political scientist and head of the nonpartisan Center for Democracy and Development in Nigeria. "Everything else is just pretext."
 
Conflicts between religious and ethnic groups are common and deadly in Nigeria. In 2002, riots over a beauty contest held in Kaduna in northern Nigeria left more than 200 people dead, and thousands of others have died in such clashes over the past few years.
 
The most recent cycle began in Borno state recently, where riots broke out over the Danish caricatures, killing at least 18 people. Muslim rioters burned churches and the homes and businesses of Christians.
 
In Bauchi state, riots were also sparked last week when a Christian teacher took a Koran away from a Muslim student who was reading it without permission in class, according to Nigerian newspaper accounts. Muslims were incensed because it is considered desecration to touch the Koran without performing ritual ablutions. Twenty-five people were killed.
 
The riots here were ignited when a busload of the bodies of Igbo victims of violence in the north returned home this week.
 
The violence has picked at a very old wound one inflicted by Nigeria's bloody civil war in the late 1960s, in which Igbo-led insurgents tried to form an independent state, Biafra. The war and the mass starvation it caused killed hundreds of thousands of civilians.
 
Some Igbo leaders still nurse a hope that Biafra will be resurrected, and the government recently arrested the leaders of a militant group advocating the re-establishment of an Igbo state.
 
An echo of that sentiment could even be seen in graffiti scrawled on a wall here. "This is Biafra," it read. "Rejoice."
 
The Igbo claim to self government is but one of many of the fraying threads in Nigeria's complex quilt of 200 different ethnic groups. Tensions between northerners and southerners, and Muslims and Christians, are a staple of Nigeria's contentious political scene, and the nation has always struggled to make sense of its vast diversity.
 
Its population of 140 million is evenly split between Christians and Muslims, and while most Muslims live in the North and Christians in the south, large numbers of both groups have settled all over the country. But Igbos nurse particular grudges, making the conflict between them and the Hausas, Muslims who are the dominant group of the north, particularly violent.
 
"Since 1970, the northerners have been stealing our wealth and ruling us like we are slaves," said Innocent Okafor, a motorcycle taxi driver who brought his 12-year-old son Jindo to see the carnage in Onitsha on Thursday, so that he might "know our history and our struggle."
 
"Thousands of Igbos have died in the north," he said.
 
"So why should some northerners not die here? We must avenge our brothers."
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« Reply #6 on: February 24, 2006, 10:59:48 PM »

"What has become of us?" lamented Father Joseph Ezeugo, pastor of Immaculate Heart Parish. "This cannot be Nigeria today. We have been living side by side with our Muslim brothers for so long. Why should a cartoon in Denmark bring us to civil war?"  

Mob violence is mob violence.  The difference is that our priests lament it, even if it is necessary for survival, while their clerics promote it, even if it is unjust.  The difference is our God is a God of Love, and theirs is not.

Edit: added the last line
« Last Edit: February 24, 2006, 11:00:37 PM by cleveland » Logged

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« Reply #7 on: February 24, 2006, 11:28:24 PM »

The difference is our God is a God of Love, and theirs is not.

You mean the one we were discussing in this thread?

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php?topic=8236.msg108274#msg108274
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« Reply #8 on: February 25, 2006, 04:28:47 PM »

It is a good move by the Vatican and it is only fair. They deserve praise for the above mentioned opinions. I found the cartoons that stirred all the trouble in the Islamic World unnecessary, although very true. I found the reaction by the Western politicans disgusting and stupid, succuumbing to the pressure of oil.

Having said that, I think it is equally naive by the Vatican to make such demand. As I said, i think the Vatican can exert some power to get things done, but muslims will never follow the advice. For example, the ban on churches in Saudi Arabia is not a government's decision, it is the prophet's decision and a famous haddith by Muhamed. They cannot violate it, and will not.

Saudi politics is dominated by the fanatic islamic current, led by the "Haram" clerics. They can cause quite an uproar in an already politically tense country. The unstable economy of Saud Arabia has exposed the social problems that were covered by the general wealth in the 60's and 70's until the First Iraq war. The royal family buys the satisfaction of the "ibn Temia" followers with a lot of concessions, andit cannot afford such move.

In addition, it is a world of alliances and big money corporation. The oil money is still a major player, and it is always a great threat to use whenever necessary. It has nothing to do with fairness.

From a religious point of view, I do not believe the Prince of the Universe contradicts himself by allowing rights to christians. Will never happen.
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« Reply #9 on: February 25, 2006, 05:32:47 PM »

Mob violence is mob violence.  The difference is that our priests lament it, even if it is necessary for survival, while their clerics promote it, even if it is unjust.  The difference is our God is a God of Love, and theirs is not.

Edit: added the last line

Which Nigerian Muslim clerics have promoted anti-Christian rioting? Whats your source of information on this?


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« Reply #10 on: February 25, 2006, 05:43:44 PM »

. For example, the ban on churches in Saudi Arabia is not a government's decision, it is the prophet's decision and a famous haddith by Muhamed. They cannot violate it, and will not.

Thats not entirely accurate. There is apparently a Hadith that the Wahabi's interpret as meaning "The prophet said there should not be two religions in the Arabian Peninsula" . But Wahabist exegesis is not binding on all Muslims for all time. Indeed for most of the post Muhammed history of the Arabian Penninsula there were both Churches and synagogues. See http://www.tcsdaily.com/article.aspx?id=092104C

Quote
Now to the question of the Wahhabi, i.e. alleged Muslim, monopoly on religious life in the Arabian Peninsula, supposedly based on the aforementioned hadith. We may leave aside for the moment that Wahhabis do not consider other Islamic believers, including but not limited to Shias, as Muslims. What about the Prophets alleged recommendation that there should not be two religions in the Arabian Peninsula?

In reality, this claim was made by the caliph Umar, an early successor to the Prophet, who cited the hadith in support of it, and who used it to justify the expulsion of Jews. But may Muslims believe the hadith, if it was indeed pronounced by the Prophet, meant that idol worship could not exist alongside monotheism (meaning Judaism, Christianity, and Islam) in the peninsula.

    * No Islamic exclusivity was ever imposed in the whole of the Arabian Peninsula, or even in Hejaz, before the triumph of the Wahhabis 80 years ago.

    * Jewish communities totaling some 50,000 people lived in Yemen until the 1950s, playing a major role in global Jewish life, even in isolation. Some hundreds of them, along with two synagogues, reportedly still exist in that country, which is certainly no less a part of the Arabian Peninsula than Riyadh.

    * A Jewish community, with synagogue, remains on the island of Bahrein.

    * Indigenous Christian churches operated in Jiddah, the commercial center of Hejaz, until the Wahhabi takeover in the 1920s.

    * All of the countries of the Arabian Peninsula presently surrounding Saudi Arabia, from Kuwait to the United Arab Emirates to Oman and Yemen, grant the right of open Christian worship. Some also host Hindu temples which function publicly.
 



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« Reply #11 on: February 26, 2006, 12:15:43 PM »

Quote
Indigenous Christian churches operated in Jiddah, the commercial center of Hejaz, until the Wahhabi takeover in the 1920s.
I doubt this piece of information based on the following:

- There was no need to have any churches in Jiddah due to to the absence of any christians i the arabic Penninsula altogether. The need for churches in Saudi Arabia is now pushed by the presence of many foreigners who came to Saudi Arabia for jobs. In the 20's, Saudi Arabia was a stone-age place, to the degree that Abd El-Aziz AL SAUD, the king who established the Saudi Kingdom, drove the El-Sherif Hussein (grandfather of Hussein, former kind of Jordan) with the aid of 40 (forty) "knights", fighting with swords and primitive guns. Such were the conditions of the arab penninsula before the oil discovery. It attracted nobody, and there is no sign of christian conversions in this area.

- The last significant presence of christians and jews in the arabic pennisula was in the age of the prophet, who on his death bed gave an order that all Jews and christians should be casted out of the arabic penninsula, for according to the Haddith " no other religion should exist in the penninsula ". The order was carried out by Omar Ibn E-Khatab, the second Khalif and the true founder of the Islamic Empire, and since then the order was observed with all diligence by muslims. The Wahabi movement base their teachings on the ideas of Ibn Temia, the islamic cleric of the 14th century, and his idea are pretty much the formaltion of all existing islamic beliefs at the time.

Maybe I missed something in between the periods.
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« Reply #12 on: February 26, 2006, 03:27:21 PM »

The Anglican Bishop John Brown who spent many years in the Arab World contributed this in 1999 http://www.al-bab.com/bys/articles/brown99.htm

Quote
In each of the four chief cities ofYemen — Sana’a, Tai’z, Aden and Hodeidah — centres directed by the ‘Sisters of Mother Teresa of Calcutta’ have been doing wonderful work for many years. The Christian presence in Sana’a is very strong and is very much a lay-led movement. Baptist missionaries have worked for many years in hospitals in Sa’ada and in a village near 'Ibb north of Ta’iz. European Lutheran missionaries run a trade and craft school in Ta’iz. As far as the Anglican church is concerned, during my time as bishop I approached central government authorities in Sana’a as well as the Governor ofAden and others in the south, with a request that they should hand back to me one of the old Anglican church buildings that had been appropriated when the Crown Colony ceased to exist. I received nothing but courtesy, understanding and practical help from many people, both committed Muslims and those who were still Marxists..My discussions about the handover of this property continued during the time of political transition, and it was the Grand Mufti of Yemen, Shaikh Ahmad Zabara, who finally clinched the matter by giving me a fatwa stating that the property known as Christ Church should be handed back and that Christians should be permitted to worship freely there, ‘just as Muslims are free to worship in the West’

I believe that Yemen is on the Arabian Penninsula and I suspect that the Grand Mufti of that country is conversant with the "Prophet's" Hadith.

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« Reply #13 on: February 26, 2006, 08:06:01 PM »

You are right, yemen is part of the arab penninsula. I know it had jewish minorities, yet I do not know about whether any form of christianity survived there from ancient times. It was a Nestorian church after the Persian invasion before the start of Islam, and they were moved outside of the Penninsual to Iraq, Syria and Persia in the in the mid 7th century. Where does this christian minority come from ?

Thanks for the info though. Really interesting.
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In that day there will be an altar to the LORD in the heart of Egypt, and a monument to the LORD at its border. (Isaiah 19:19)

" God forbid I should see the face of Judah or listen to his blasphemy" (Gerontius, Archmanidrite of the monastery of St. Melania)
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