Thursday, April 16, 2009

Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan objects to Papal visit, insists that Pope Benedict define his stance on Islam and Muhammad

Leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan have objected to Pope Benedict's visit, insisting that he define his stance on Islam and Prophet Muhammad ahead of his arrival:
The spokesperson of the Islamic Action Front (IAF), the political wing of the Muslim Brotherhood, said the visit meant little, if anything, to him.

“The pope hates Islam and Muslims. I do not expect anything from his visit,” said Raheil Gharayba, who is also the deputy secretary general of the IAF, the most influential political party in the [Jordanian] kingdom.


“His position on the Gaza War was shameful, after failing to condemn the genocide by Israel on innocent civilians," said Gharaybeh.


President of the Muslim Brotherhood Shurah council, ‘Abd A-Latif ‘Arabiat, said the pope was “welcome in the country of Islam, but he must send a clear message to the hard-line government of Israel,” referring to the right-wing cabinet of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu ...

“The visit should not be seen as a vindication of Israel and the Zionist movement from their war crimes in Gaza,” said ‘Arabiat.

“The Pope is not welcome in the kingdom,” he added.

Earlier in the year, a human rights organization funded by the Jordanian government urged the Pope to cancel his visit to Israel, warning that "it will be as if he is blessing its actions in Gaza."
"We respectfully request Your Holiness to call-off your intended visit to Israel next May. Such a gesture by your high moral authority will certainly send a loud and an unambiguous message to set free the Palestinian people from their captivity which has been going on since the year 1967."
By all appearances, the Holy Father is not one to submit to intimidation; his visit to Israel is still on the agenda.

On a related note, the Jerusalem Post reports that Islamic Movement in Israel is split over pope's May visit:

The northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel has announced that it is "boycotting" Pope Benedict XVI's visit next month, while an official from the more moderate southern branch said it intend to participate in the event.

However, there was no indication that the northerners plan to protest his arrival or try to block the pontiff's path to al-Aqsa Mosque, which he is scheduled to visit.