Tuesday 12 May 2009

Well done, Your Holiness

Now there's a headline you probably never expected to see at this blog. But all credit to Pope Benedict XVI for walking out on an interfaith event in Jerusalem, when Sheikh Tayseer Tamimi, chief Islamic judge in the Palestinian Authority (they're the moderate ones, remember) took advantage of the occasion to deliver a 10-minute rant against the state of Israel.

During his tirade Tamimi called on Christians and Muslims to unite against Israel, and invoked the name of Saladin, the Muslim sultan who recaptured Jerusalem from the Crusaders in 1187, claiming that, unlike Israel, Saladin 'upheld the religious freedom of all faiths'. 

According to Father Federico Lombardi, director of the Holy See Press Office, 'in a meeting dedicated to dialogue this intervention was a direct negation of what dialogue should be'. But the organisers should have known better: according to the Jerusalem Post Tamimi 'staged an identical verbal attack against Israel during Pope John Paul II's visit in March 2000.'

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