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Pope risks new rift w/ Islam as he baptises (Arab) journalist facing death threats (Photos)
DailyMail.com ^ | 24th March 2008

Posted on 03/24/2008 10:14:18 AM PDT by yankeedame

Pope risks new rift with Islam as he baptises journalist facing death threats for condemning 'religion of hate'

Last updated at 12:19pm on 24th March 2008

The Pope is risking a new rift with Islam after baptising an outspoken newspaper editor who renounced his Muslim faith after condemning it as a "religion of hate".

Magdi Allam, a top editor for the Corriere della Sera newspaper, said he believed he will face greater demands for his assassination after he committed the sin of "apostasty", the renunciation of his faith.

But the death threats he has already received for his harsh words about Islam only made him more determined to leave the "intolerant" religion.

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The Pope baptises Magdi Allam at the Easter Service

Allam wrote that it was "time to put an end to the violence of Muslims who do not respect the freedom of religious choice."

His conversion freed him "from the shadows of a preaching where hate and intolerance toward he who is different, toward he who is condemned as an 'enemy,"' he said.

And he praised the pontiff - himself under fire from militant Islam - for defending civilization.

Allam predicted his surprise baptism by the pope during the Easter vigil Mass in St. Peter's Basilica Saturday night would spark an "even graver condemnation to death for apostasy," or renunciation of religious faith.

Hamas singled him out for death after he criticized Palestinian suicide bombings, and Italy provides him with a security escort.

But under a widespread interpretation of Islamic legal doctrine, converting from Islam is apostasy and punishable by death - though killings are rare.

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The outspoken Allam is facing death threats over his conversion

Allam's baptism highlighted tensions that have at times characterized the theologian-pope's relationship with the Muslim world.

Allam, 55, was born a Muslim in Egypt, but was educated by Catholics and says he has never been a practising Muslim.

In a front-page letter in Corriere yesterday, he described how Benedict helped in his decision to break with Islam, a process which included support from a Vatican cardinal and several prelates close to the Vatican.

"Undoubtedly the most extraordinary and significant encounter in the decision to convert was that with Pope Benedict XVI," Allam said. He said he admired the pope for his skill in laying out the relationship "between faith and reason as the basis of authentic religion and human civilization."

The pope himself has come under verbal attack from Islamic militants. Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, in a new audio message posted last week, accused Benedict of playing a role in what he called a "new Crusade" against Islam. The Vatican has described the accusation as baseless.

The Vatican is still trying to repair relations with the Muslim world after Benedict in a 2006 speech about faith and reason cited a medieval text that described some of the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad as "evil and inhuman," particularly the command to spread the faith "by the sword."

The pope later expressed regret that his remarks angered Muslims and stressed that the text didn't reflect his own opinion.

Benedict made no specific mention of Allam's conversion, but at his Easter Sunday Mass in St. Peter's Square, the pope hailed conversions to Christianity as a "miracle."

By baptizing him, in a ceremony televised to millions of people worldwide, Benedict was making "an historic and courageous gesture" to a Church "which up to now had been too prudent in the conversion of Muslims, refraining from proselytizing in countries with Muslim majorities, and being silent about the reality of converts (from Islam) in Christian countries."

He contended that the Church was afraid it couldn't protect the new converts from possible retaliation by Muslims and also worried about Christians living in Islamic countries.

In November, Benedict raised concerns about restrictions on worship by non-Muslims in Saudi Arabia, when he held the first ever meeting between a pontiff and a reigning Saudi King. In his meeting with King Abdullah he lauded the contribution of Christians in Saudi Arabia, where Christians are barred from opening churches.

The Union of Islamic Communities in Italy - which Allam has frequently criticized as having links to Hamas - was quoted as describing the baptism as a personal choice.

An Italian Muslim leader, Yahya Pallavicini, who has been involved with Vatican-Muslim dialogue, expressed surprise.

"As a European Muslim, there was no reason to deny his religion of origin in order to love better or more the Christ figure or Christianity," Pallavicini told Italy's SKY TG24.

The conversion became political fodder ahead of Italy's elections next month. Rejoicing over the conversion was Roberto Calderoli, a leader of the anti-immigrant Northern League party that is an ally of Silvio Berlusconi, the conservative bloc's candidate for the premiership.

The Vatican cardinal in charge of inter-religious dialogue appeared to dismiss any flap over Allam's conversion.

"To whoever knocks, the door of the Church is always open," Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran was quoted by the Apcom news agency as saying. "Freedom of conscience is a fundamental right."


TOPICS: Miscellaneous; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: allam; islam; muslimbaptism; popebenedict

1 posted on 03/24/2008 10:14:18 AM PDT by yankeedame
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To: yankeedame

“The Pope is risking a new rift with Islam after baptising an outspoken newspaper editor who renounced his Muslim faith after condemning it as a “religion of hate”.”

You just have to laugh at how quickly the Muslims validate the claim.


2 posted on 03/24/2008 10:15:35 AM PDT by Slapshot68
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To: yankeedame

God Bless you Pope Benedict.


3 posted on 03/24/2008 10:15:47 AM PDT by pissant (THE Conservative party: www.falconparty.com)
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To: yankeedame
God bless this brave and heroic soul. He is abjectly risking his life to not only tell the truth, but then to back it up with actions.

The Islamic Jihadists hate this. They cannot allow for even the chance of this on any wide-spread basis. it is a dam waiting to overflow.

God bless this man and the Pope for their actions in the face of such hate.

4 posted on 03/24/2008 10:17:32 AM PDT by Jeff Head (Freedom is not free...never has been, never will be. (www.dragonsfuryseries.com))
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To: yankeedame
As a Lutheran, I say, "Good on ya, Pope!"

It is high time we stopped worrying about the Islamofascists "sensitivities".

In the end, there is only one thing you need to know about Islamofascists...How to defeat and destroy them.

5 posted on 03/24/2008 10:18:08 AM PDT by Redleg Duke ("All gave some, and some gave all!")
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To: yankeedame

When you think of it, this is VERY interesting. Pope Benedict did not have to baptize Magdi Allam himself. It could have been done quietly.

The Vatican has to be careful of offending Muslims, because millions of Christians are hostage to their anger in Muslim countries around the world. That is one reason why popes have not been more outspoken about the evils of Islam—because of all those innocent Christian hostages. It’s a very difficult situation. It’s one thing to accept martyrdom yourself, but it’s another to risk martyring others.

I can only conclude that Pope Benedict decided that this was the best choice. He certainly did not do it with any unawareness of the possible consequences, because he is a very smart guy and is deeply concerned about the problem of how to deal with Islam, and whether it is possible to talk rationally with them at all.


6 posted on 03/24/2008 10:19:44 AM PDT by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: yankeedame
Ok, Pope baptizes an adult, who wishes to become Christian, and by doing it Pope “risks” to undermine relations with Islam?! What's next, outrage and muslim rioting over Pope praising the Lord?
7 posted on 03/24/2008 10:19:47 AM PDT by alecqss
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To: yankeedame

The islamderthals and their religion of perpetual outrage was massively pwned this weekend.


8 posted on 03/24/2008 10:20:36 AM PDT by Proud_USA_Republican (We're going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good. - Hillary Clinton)
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To: Redleg Duke

As a Catholic, I say the very same thing.


9 posted on 03/24/2008 10:21:11 AM PDT by Emmett McCarthy
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To: yankeedame

great story - thanks for posting!

God Bless this courageous gentleman.


10 posted on 03/24/2008 10:23:29 AM PDT by KEmom (Please send viable Republican candidates to Massachusetts!!)
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To: yankeedame
Pope risks new rift w/ Islam as he baptises (Arab) journalist
facing death threats (Photos)


This is no shocker.

Everyone knows that Islamics is free to claim converts from Christendom...
but anyone leaving Islam has a bullseye painted on them!
11 posted on 03/24/2008 10:23:30 AM PDT by VOA
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To: VOA
Oops...I meant

....Islam is free to claim converts...
12 posted on 03/24/2008 10:24:49 AM PDT by VOA
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To: yankeedame
But the death threats he has already received for his harsh words about Islam only made him more determined to leave the "intolerant" religion.

In the same sentence the mediots mention the death threats, then put "intolerant" in quotes.

13 posted on 03/24/2008 10:25:21 AM PDT by Jeff Chandler (Iím gonna get me a shotgun and kill all the whiteys I see...)
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To: Slapshot68

Islam is a religion of peace! If you believe otherwise, I'll kill you!


14 posted on 03/24/2008 10:25:38 AM PDT by COBOL2Java ("McCain is a war hero. He's also a useful idiot for the Democrats." - Mark Levin)
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To: yankeedame
he committed the sin of "apostasty" ????

Editor wanted, inquire within.

The word is "apostasy", knucklehead.

15 posted on 03/24/2008 10:27:51 AM PDT by Izzy Dunne (Hello, I'm a TAGLINE virus. Please help me spread by copying me into YOUR tag line.)
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To: yankeedame

Good for the Pope! God bless Benedict XVI. Muslims are converting to Christianity in the tens of thousands across the Muslim world, according to a recent article by Joel C. Rosenberg. The Cross of Christ will always triumph over darkness.


16 posted on 03/24/2008 10:32:37 AM PDT by Boagenes (I'm your huckleberry, that's just my game.)
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To: yankeedame
Pope risks new rift with Islam Satan as he baptises journalist

Fixed.

17 posted on 03/24/2008 10:34:48 AM PDT by SamuraiScot
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To: Jeff Head
Amen, and this brave convert knows full well he is placing Islam in a very difficult position. They can either do nothing, and thereby encourage other Muslims to be able to escape from bondage, or they can go after him, thereby proving the fact of a violent religion.

The Pope knows this too. I commend him for his brave act which will no doubt cause a firestorm. Let the mullahs try and kill their way out of this one.

18 posted on 03/24/2008 10:43:17 AM PDT by Sender (Feltzqlna dads if mental our Prophet, Peace Be Upon Him)
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To: Izzy Dunne

Apostasty is the word uses to describe cannibals who go vegan - according to ancient cannibal writings, such an apostate vegan’s flesh is particularly tasty.


19 posted on 03/24/2008 10:44:27 AM PDT by Notwithstanding ("You are either with America in our time of need or you are not" - W? No, 'twas Sen. Hillary 9/12/01)
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To: yankeedame

Curious how the article assumes it is only one side’s responsibility to “bridge the gap” — which leaves one with the impression the journalist believes islam has no obligation in that regard. (I do not believe it is possible, given the inherent violence in islam, as this convert — in a much better position to know — confirms.)


20 posted on 03/24/2008 10:44:31 AM PDT by bajabaja
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To: yankeedame

This is as close to the Pope giving Islam the finger as is possible.


21 posted on 03/24/2008 10:45:59 AM PDT by RockyMtnMan
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To: yankeedame

I saw Fox News reporting this as a gaffe on the part of the Pope.

I’m not Catholic but, Long live the Pontiff!!!


22 posted on 03/24/2008 10:50:46 AM PDT by dangerdoc (dangerdoc (not actually dangerous any more))
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To: yankeedame

The Islamo-facist and MSM press will label it as “waterboarding” torture no doubt.


23 posted on 03/24/2008 10:51:48 AM PDT by meandog (Please pray for future President McCain--day minus 302 and counting! Stay home and get Baraked!)
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To: Sender
Let the mullahs try and kill their way out of this one.

...and they will try to do just that.

24 posted on 03/24/2008 10:54:25 AM PDT by Jeff Head (Freedom is not free...never has been, never will be. (www.dragonsfuryseries.com))
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To: COBOL2Java

I wonder if he has the attention span to sit through a job interview?


25 posted on 03/24/2008 10:56:04 AM PDT by massgopguy (I owe everything to George Bailey)
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To: COBOL2Java

Every time that I see that picture I recognize it as the true representative face of Islam.


26 posted on 03/24/2008 10:56:04 AM PDT by 353FMG (Vote for the Person who will do the least damage to our country.)
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To: Sender
They can either do nothing, and thereby encourage other Muslims to be able to escape from bondage, or they can go after him, thereby proving the fact of a violent religion.

B16 is playing very high stakes Poker with the mohammedans.

He just raised the bet.

Again.

27 posted on 03/24/2008 10:57:02 AM PDT by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilization is Aborting, Buggering, and Contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: yankeedame
"Undoubtedly the most extraordinary and significant encounter in the decision to convert was that with Pope Benedict XVI," Allam said. He said he admired the pope for his skill in laying out the relationship "between faith and reason as the basis of authentic religion and human civilization."

He's been doing just that for years!

28 posted on 03/24/2008 11:41:34 AM PDT by SuziQ
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To: yankeedame
Magdi Allam knows what is wrong with Islam. Its a death cult estranged from reason, life and love. Fanaticism, death and hate animate Islam today and no doubt goes to the heart of Allam's conversion to Christianity.

"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." - Manuel II Palelologus

29 posted on 03/24/2008 11:59:28 AM PDT by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives In My Heart Forever)
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To: Cicero
...I can only conclude that Pope Benedict decided that this was the best choice. He certainly did not do it with any unawareness of the possible consequences, because he is a very smart guy and is deeply concerned about the problem of how to deal with Islam, and whether it is possible to talk rationally with them at all....

Well said!

I think that the current Pope Benedict is following in the foot steps of the previous Pope. While Pope John Paul determined that Communism was the greatest threat to Christians of the world, I believe that Pope Benedict has determined that his legacy will be to destroy the the spread of Wuhan Islamic-Fundamentalism from spreading around the globe.

As such, a new "Crusade," of sorts, has been started. It is being waged in the media (at the moment) to capture the hearts and minds of many in Muslim countries and in countries where Saudi oil money is trying to create religious unrest through the export of Wahhabism.

In my opinion the Muslim faith needs its own Reformation of sorts so that Wahhabism is wiped from the face of the earth.

At some point I think that the new crusade will shift from the media to the street and there will be blood on the streets, but that hopefully, it will be grass roots revolutions in certain middle eastern countries due to common people becoming upset with the Wahhabi interpretation of Islam. I see Pakistan, Iran and Iraq as being in the forefront of the new crusade, just a little behind Turkey.

Until then, the world and the middle east will be very dangerous places. I believe that Pope Benedict has determined that Wahhabi beliefs have no place in a civilized and modern world and will take steps to keep the spotlight on them and do things that will provoke actions on the part of the fanatical Muslim community.

30 posted on 03/24/2008 12:14:26 PM PDT by Robert357 (D.Rather "Hoist with his own petard!" www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1223916/posts)
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To: yankeedame

The leftist media is just beginning to blame it on the Pope. They would NEVER blame the violence on the people who OPENLY PROMISE to kill an innocent man.


31 posted on 03/24/2008 12:21:37 PM PDT by Leftism is Mentally Deranged (Expel members of the death cult. You'll sleep better and your children, spouse and dog will be safe.)
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To: yankeedame

Already saying rosaries for Brother Allam....


32 posted on 03/24/2008 12:24:25 PM PDT by papertyger
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To: yankeedame

the headline itself tells what the bias of the writer/agency is.


33 posted on 03/24/2008 12:31:27 PM PDT by WoofDog123
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To: yankeedame

God Bless the Pope for what he did, doing what the risen Christ commanded the apostles to do, go out and preach the Gospel and baptized peoples from all the nations.


34 posted on 03/24/2008 2:08:41 PM PDT by Biggirl (A biggirl with a big heart for God's animal creation, with 4 cats in my life as proof. =^..^=)
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To: goldstategop

Truly Mr. Allam did the right thing by living a false religion he does not believe in for a faith that is based on the good news of the Gospel.


35 posted on 03/24/2008 2:11:55 PM PDT by Biggirl (A biggirl with a big heart for God's animal creation, with 4 cats in my life as proof. =^..^=)
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To: yankeedame

How can there be a new rift when the old rift has not ended in 1400 years?


36 posted on 03/24/2008 2:13:31 PM PDT by RightWhale (Clam down! avoid ataque de nervosa)
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To: Boagenes

...And that is the miracle of Easter.


37 posted on 03/24/2008 2:14:03 PM PDT by Biggirl (A biggirl with a big heart for God's animal creation, with 4 cats in my life as proof. =^..^=)
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To: Robert357
In my opinion the Muslim faith needs its own Reformation of sorts so that Wahhabism is wiped from the face of the earth.

Are you suggesting that Islam is largely true with only the need of "reform", or that a reformation intrinsically undermines any organized religion, none of which is any truer than another?

38 posted on 03/24/2008 2:34:03 PM PDT by Huber (And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. - John 1:5)
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To: yankeedame; narses; NYer
But under a widespread interpretation of Islamic legal doctrine, converting from Islam is apostasy and punishable by death - though killings are rare.

I wonder how the author defines "rare"...fewer than ten thousand a year?

39 posted on 03/24/2008 2:38:37 PM PDT by Huber (And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. - John 1:5)
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To: goldstategop

“Fanaticism, death and hate animate Islam today...”

GW should really hear Allam’s opinion about Islam in order to get a second opinion about this cult and not keep on repeating the same mantra about how it is a ROP.

It’s time for him to read the Koran and look around in Muslim countries and learn how Christians and other non-Muslims are treated.


40 posted on 03/24/2008 4:48:35 PM PDT by 353FMG (Vote for the Person who will do the least damage to our country.)
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To: Huber
...Are you suggesting that Islam is largely true with only the need of "reform", or that a reformation intrinsically undermines any organized religion, none of which is any truer than another?

I am not an expert on comparative religions. I will share my feelings, which are not those of an "expert."

I am making an observation that there seem to be Muslims that I have known and that have seemed to exist in different parts of the world that have at times lived in harmony with their non-muslim neighbors. If the beliefs of those Muslims can become the dominate beliefs of that religion, that that I what I would hope in a "reformation."

As to "...any organized religion, none of which is any truer than another..." I would have to say that to a certain extent I do believe that. If someone is a Mormon and lives a good life I would hope that they are not condemned to eternal damnation. If someone is a Catholic and lives honorably I would hope for their salvation. Likewise if some one is Bahia, I have no problem with their practicing their religion. If a Buddhist, such as the Dalia Lama, lives a thoughtful and respectful life, I do not see his having a lesser life than my own. I see them each in their own way as doing God's work.

I am no more saying that Islam is "largely true" than I would debate whether the Greek Orthodox religion is more true than the Catholic religion. I will also not debate whether the Mormon religion or Christian Scientist "religions" are "largely true." I will leave those debates for others.

While I am not saying that the Muslim religion is "largely true," I will say that Islamic Fundamentalism seems to me to be "largely wrong." To the extent that people of the Muslim religion can respect their neighbors who may be of different beliefs, then I can accept that religion as having some societal value.

From what I know, I would say that the Saudi money behind the Wahhabi Muslim fundamentalists, is a big part of the current world terrorism problem. I feel that all civilized people should unit against such hateful and intolerant preaching. If the Muslim people of the world can "reform" their religion to allow tolerance for others, then there is no need to wipe the Muslim religion off the face of the earth.

I have a personal friend who is a Suffi. At his wedding, party I had the opportunity to speak to many of his other friends and listen to their prayer. I feel comfortable that I and others could live in harmony with him and his friends. There are many other Muslims I would not feel that way about.

41 posted on 03/24/2008 5:55:59 PM PDT by Robert357 (D.Rather "Hoist with his own petard!" www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1223916/posts)
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To: Robert357

Thanks for a thoughtful answer.


42 posted on 03/24/2008 10:19:01 PM PDT by Huber (And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. - John 1:5)
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