Sunday, March 23, 2008

Pope Baptizes Prominent Italian Muslim

During the Easter Vigil, the pope baptized and received into the Catholic faith “Italy's most prominent Muslim, an iconoclastic writer who condemned Islamic extremism and defended Israel…”

This is not an unusual occurrence. While attending Easter Vigil at St. Mary’s church in Coventry, my wife and I witnessed several men and women being received into communion by Father Victor Chaker and Father Ray Introvigne.

The Egyptian born Madgi Allam explained why he had titled his recent book "Viva Israele.” He had received death threats from Hamas, and “Having been condemned to death, I have reflected a long time on the value of life. And I discovered that behind the origin of the ideology of hatred, violence and death is the discrimination against Israel. Everyone has the right to exist except for the Jewish state and its inhabitants. Today, Israel is the paradigm of the right to life."

None of this, one supposes, will be received in a spirit of good will in the badlands of Pakistan, where Osama bin Landin has been hunkered down issuing threats against the Pope and Europe. But then, with the exception of a few Danish cartoonists, the Pope and Allam very well may be the last two living men in Europe.

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