“One of the points that the Pope made in his speech … was the necessity of linking faith to reason,” wrote Donohue. “He warned that uncoupling the twin values had horrendous consequences, leading people of faith to resort to violence.”
“Ironically, the violent reaction, and the calls for more violence, on the part of some Muslims underscores the Pope’s point,” Donohue continued. “The response of violence to non-violence is barbaric.”
Donohue pointed to the violence that has been perpetrated against churches since the Pope’s speech last Tuesday. In addition, he said, some Muslim organizations and leaders have encouraged violent reprisals for the Pope’s remarks.
Seven churches were firebombed in the West Bank and Gaza and two set fully ablaze. In some countries, Muslims took to the streets chanting “Death to the Pope,” burning him in effigy.
“In Somalia, Muslims were urged by a cleric to ‘hunt down’ the Pope and kill him,” Donohue observed. He quoted Sheik Abubakar Hassan Malin as saying: “Whoever offends our Prophet Muhammad should be killed on the spot by the nearest Muslim.”
It was in Somalia that Catholic sister, Leonella Sgobati, was brutally gunned down, allegedly as part of the protests.
The Mujahideen Shura Council referred to the Pope as “the worshipper of the cross” on its Internet site and pledged to “break the cross and spill the wine” in the “house of the dog from Rome,” Donohue noted.
“Not until Islam matures and Muslims come to reject the wanton destruction of innocent human life is there any chance of a real dialogue,” Donohue said. “The scene of Muslims calling for Jews and Christians to be murdered with impunity is all too common, as this latest demonstration of hate proves.”
.- The violent reaction and calls for more violence on the part of some Muslims, in reaction to Pope Benedict’s speech at Regensburg University, “underscores the Pope’s point,” said Catholic League president Bill Donohue in a Sept. 18 statement.