Mar 24, 2008
A few days ago Osama bin Laden released a message threatening Benedict XVI for leading a "new Crusade" against Islam. Whether he meant to or not, the Holy Father issued a ringing answer to the architect of 9/11 by receiving into the Church Europe's most vocal Muslim critic of bin Laden and Islamic terrorism.
Magdi Allam, deputy director of Italy's largest newspaper, is a leading journalist and author of several studies of Islamic extremists, including Osama bin Laden: A Journey Through Radical Islam (in Italian only).
He took the baptismal name of "Christian," which underscored his decision to leave the community of Islam.
That Benedict XVI chose to receive Allam personally has angered some prominent Muslims. "What amazes me is the high profile the Vatican has given this conversion," Yaha Sergio Yahe Pallavicini, vice- president of the Italian Islamic Religious Community, told Reuters. "Why could he have not done this in his local parish?"