Monday, September 18, 2006
Unity, Tolerance and Respect

posted by Odog 18/9/06

The purpose of this post is not to discuss the Pope's remarks which have caused so much outrage in the Muslim world, it is to condemm the attacks made by some members of the Muslim faithful against Palestinian churches. Unfortunately, the actions of a few misinformed extremists give the rest of Muslims a bad name and creates uneccessary division with christian Palestinians. These are critical times and unity is vital.

Muslim Leaders in Palestine reject attacks against Christians

The supreme judge of Palestine Sheikh Tayseer At-Tamimi called Saturday on the Palestinian people not to be provoked by the Pope's words which have irritated Muslim's religious feelings.

In a phone call with Maan news agency, Tamimi called on Muslims in Palestine not to harm Christian churches, homes or people, as that would be a violation of the historical promise made by the Caliph Umar Ibn Al-Khattab to the Christians in Jerusalem more than 1400 years ago.

Firebombs hurled at two Nablus Churches 12:56

Unknown assailants attacked two churches in Rafidia village west of the West Bank city of Nablus late on Friday at night.The first attack targeted a Protestant church at midnight, the church was hit with several firebombs. Several hours later, more cocktail bombs hit the Greek Orthodox Church in the village, both churches were damaged, but no injuries were reported.

A group calling it self the Osoud Al Tawheed "Lions of Monotheism" claimed responsibility for the attack. The caller said the attacks were carried out to protest the Pope's remarks about Islam. The bombs damaged windows and left black scorch marks on the walls of the two churches. Father Yousef Saada, a priest at the Anglican Church, said several firebombs hit the outside wall of the church.

Father George Awwad, Greek Orthodox priest in the village condemned the attack and slammed the remarks of Pope Benedict XVI about Islam. Awwad described the act as “childish”. Awwad added that the Pope does not represent all Christians and called on the Palestinians to remain in unity. On Friday, Palestinians protested against the comments of the Pope, Christian churches in Palestine also slammed the comments. After the Tuesday speech of the Pope in Germany, and his remarks on Islam “spreading the violence”, anger spread among the Arab and Muslim world, thousands of Palestinians marched in Gaza and demanded him to apologize. Several churches in Palestine also slammed the Pope's statement, Father Awwad said that “the Palestinians are brothers and sisters during bad and good times, tolerance is the common oxygen Christians and Muslims breathe here in Palestine.

Adli Yaaish, Nablus Mayor and a Hamas leader, slammed the firebomb attack and described it as irresponsible. His statements came as several leaders gathered at the scenes of the attacks.“We condemn this irresponsible attack”, Yaaish said, “This will not affect our unity”.
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