Taliban Threatens Pope

By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
Staff Writer

On the eve of Pope Benedict XVI’s departure for the Holy Land, the Taliban issued a warning telling him to stop alleged attempts to convert Muslims in Afghanistan in order to prevent “serious consequences.”

According to ANSA, the threat appeared on a Taliban-linked website yesterday after the Arab-language network, Al Jazeera, showed US soldiers in Afghanistan holding copies of the Bible which had been translated into local languages.

”The Islamic Emirate in Afghanistan asks Pope Benedict XVI to act to stop the foolish and irresponsible actions of the crusaders upsetting the feelings of Muslim rebels, without awaiting the consequences of a severe reaction,” said a Taliban message on the website, alemarah1.org.

”The Taleban forcefully exhort the mujaheddin, scholars and all religious circles to control the activities of the invaders and crusaders, and not allow anyone to preach religions except Islam,” the message said.

Attempts to convert Muslims is a crime in most Islamic countries.

Al Jazeera showed US soldiers in Bagram with a pile of Bibles translated into the two local languages.

However, the US army said that “’any form of religious proselytism by troops is prohibited” and assured Taliban leaders that the bibles had been ”confiscated and destroyed.”

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