Pope provokes Muslim anger by baptising controversial journalist

Pope provokes Muslim anger

by baptising controversial journalist

Excerpts and my remarks put into Times Online

 

Magdi Allam, who converted to Catholicism from Islam, is baptised by Pope Benedict XV
Magdi Allam is baptised by Pope Benedict XVI

Richard Owen of The Times, in Rome 

Pope Benedict XVI has risked (more appropriate to use provoked) a renewed rift with the Muslim world by baptising a converted Muslim born journalist who describes Islam as intrinsically violent and characterised by “hate and intolerance” rather than “love and respect for others”.

In a surprise move at the Easter vigil at St Peter’s on Saturday night, the Pope baptised Magdi Allam, 55, an outspoken Egyptian-born critic of Islamic extremism and supporter of Israel.

Mr Allam’s conversion was kept secret until less than an hour before the service. He took the middle name “Christian” for his baptism.

After the baptism, the Pope said that faith “is a force for peace and reconciliation in the world: distances between people are overcome, in the Lord we have become close (in Christianity).”

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However the move revived memories of the Muslim fury which greeted Pope Benedict’s speech at Regensburg University in German in 2006 in which he branded Islam as inherently violent, inhumane and irrational by quoting a Byzantine emperor.

However, in a combative article for Corriere della Sera, the Italian paper of which he is a deputy editor, Mr Allam – who has lived in Italy most of his adult life and has a Catholic wife . . . .

Mr Allam, who was educated at a Salesian Catholic school in Egypt and was one of seven adults baptised during the Easter vigil, which is traditionally used for adult conversion ceremonies.

He said that by baptising him publicly the Pope had “sent an explicit and revolutionary message to a Church that until now has been too cautious in the conversion of Muslims because of the fear of being unable to protect the converted, who are condemned to death for apostasy”.

Muslim groups in Italy said Mr Allam would have done better to have undergone a low key conversion at a local parish. “What amazes me is the high profile the Vatican has given this conversion,” said Yaha Sergio Yahe Pallavicini, deputy head of the Italian Islamic Religious Community.

Today, Pope Benedict celebrated Easter Mass on St Peter’s Square, calling for an end to “(MUTUAL) injustice, (MUTUAL) hatred and (MUTUAL) violence.”

The Pope called for “solutions that will safeguard peace and the common good in Tibet, the Middle East and African regions such as Darfur and Somalia.

He deplored “the many wounds (including you, Pope, had inflicted now on Muslims) that continue to disfigure humanity in our own day. These are the scourges of humanity, open and festering in every corner of the planet, (at St Peter’s on Saturday night) , although they are often ignored and sometimes deliberately concealed; wounds (including this that Pope himself had inflicted) that torture the souls and bodies of countless of our brothers and sisters“.

He called for “an active commitment to justice (from your Christian point of view) in areas bloodied by conflict and wherever the dignity of the human person (dignity of Islam not included) continues to be scorned and trampled”.

Last week, the Pope broke his silence on Tibet, calling for for an end to violence and urging “dialogue and tolerance.” But Beijing brushed off the appeal, declaring there was “no tolerance for criminals, who will be punished by the law.” Neither the Easter message nor the Good Friday meditations specifically mentioned China, a reflection of the Vatican’s desire not to upset its dialogue with Beijing over the fate of the country’s Catholics.

 

I DREAMT OF POPE VISITING MYANMAR

I DREAMT OF POPE

VISITING MYANMAR

Last night I dreamt that Pope Benedict XVI had visited Myanmar, went to see Karen State, Shan State, Chin State, Kachin State and at last Depayin village.

The following are his remarks in my dream that are quite similar to his speech after visiting the Auschwitz concentration camp. The following is the excerpts of my dream:

As “a son of God” he asked God why he remained silent during the “unprecedented widespread numerous crimes on humanity” of the SPDC régime. In a place like Burma/Myanmar, words fail; in the end, there can be only a dread silence, a silence which itself is a heartfelt cry to God: Why, Lord, did you remain silent? How could you tolerate all this? To speak in this country of horror, in this place where unprecedented multiple crimes were committed against God and man is almost impossible — and it is particularly difficult and troubling.

“To implore the grace of reconciliation — first of all from God, who alone can open and purify our hearts, from the men and women who suffered here, and finally the grace of reconciliation for all those who, at his hour of our history, are suffering in new ways from the power of hatred and the violence which hatred spawns.”

Burma/Myanmar, he said, is a place where the human heart still cries out to God, asking where he was, why he was silent, why he did not save his people.
“We must continue to cry out humbly yet insistently to God,” the pope said, asking him to save humanity and to help all people actively resist hatred, violence and attacks on the dignity of others.

“All these inscriptions speak of human grief; they give us a glimpse of the cynicism of that SPDC régime which treated men and women as material objects and failed to see them as persons embodying the image of God,” he said.

“SPDC régime wanted to crush the entire Burmese people, to cancel them from the register of the peoples of the earth.”

Pope Benedict said, the SPDC régime wanted to destroy Christianity, Islam and true Buddhism as well, replacing it with “a faith of their own invention: faith in the rule of Myanmar Tatmadaw, the rule of the powerful.”

The obligation to remember what happened in Burma/Myanmar and to recognize the depths of hatred of which people are capable should not focus simply on numbers, the pope said.
“The individual persons who ended up here in this abyss of terror” were real people, he said. I ask you to stand firm in your faith! Stand firm in your hope! Stand firm in your love! Amen!” he concluded, speaking in Polish on the last day of his trip.

Note: My humble and sincere apology to Pope Benedict XVI for using his name and words. But I hope I am not insulting the Holy Pope but praising and looking up to him, appealing just not to look back into the history but to realize that the ugly Holocaust History is repeating itself in present Myanmar/Burma in another form. And it is not committed on one race and one religion only but all the races and religions of Burmese people, as long as they are not on the SPDC side. Dear Pope please visit our country and speak on our behalf and kindly pray to God for all of us to be liberated from this Fascist Nazi SPDC Régime.

KO TIN NWE 

………………………………………………

Comments

David Law said _

Dear Ko Tin Nwe, to quote your article: “the SPDC régime wanted to destroy Christianity, Islam and true Buddhism as well, replacing it with “a faith of their own invention: faith in the rule of Myanmar Tatmadaw, the rule of the powerful.”
This has prompted me to write an article about “Myanmarmy-ism” as the new religion of Burma, and Thanshwe is the top God, Ee Hmway Kyaing is the Goddess, and all the other generals are the lesser gods and nat-spirits.
As sort of like Jupiter and Hera and all the rest.
 Hmyawbar, in a future issue of BD

Ko Tin Maung said _

Elie Wiesel, the Nobel laureate, professor and holocaust survivor said, “The question is not where was God during the Holocaust, but where was man?”