|The Pope with a Muslim Scholar during Vatican sponsored "Inter-Faith Dialogue" in 2008|
As I have posted yesterday about the Vatican Aid Sought for Iranian woman who was sentenced to death by stoning, it is not surprising that Ahmadinejad, who supports terrorism, Hamas in Palestine and Hizbollah in Lebanon would turn down the request of the Pope to forgive the woman alledgely accused of killing her husband and adultery.
Resurrecting the dead (the Regensburg Lecture controversy) would spark another anti-Catholic sentiments among Iranians who were poisoned by Ahmadinejad's anti-Western culture including Christianity and Catholicism in particular. This is the kind of argument Ahmadinejad is using to deny the request of the Pope to grant clemency (mercy) to Ms. Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, now sentenced with 99 lashes for another accusations only the oppresive Iranian justice system knows.
Here's a development news from AsiaNews:
Ahmadinejad proclaims respect for pope but Iran has strange anti-Catholic coalitionby Dariush Mirzai
Foreigners, Armenians and minorities have taken to the streets, but the "students" have not. Tomorrow, however, the Islamic Propagation Office has called a rally in Teheran to "show anger and hatred".
Teheran (AsiaNews) – Despite Ahmadinejad's proclamations of "respect" for Benedict XVI, the anti-pope controversy is not yet over in the Islamic republic of Iran. However, there is no popular uprising and the regime so far has not used the fervent ranks of "bassij", the "students", as it did in the controversy about the Muhammad cartoons in February. But tomorrow, Friday, a day of prayer, the
The tenors of the regime, the Supreme Guide Khamenei and the powerful and very rich Hashemi Rafsanjani, stoked controversy against the pope, accusing him of collusion with Zionist and US circles (Khamenei) or of "irrationality" (Rafsanjani).
Yesterday's demonstrations were quite strange: authorised if not organised by the authorities, they gathered "strangers" and "minorities". A group of Armenians and other demonstrators gathered outside Hosseinieh Ershad mosque to protest against the pope's "anti-Islamic" attitude. In Iran, the Armenians constitute quite an important minority that enjoys historic status of "privileged" inferiority. What's more, they are Orthodox, but there is also an Armenian Catholic community – a Salesian priest of Armenian rite was recently ordained in Teheran. This demonstration is one of those typical signs of "peace" and obedience that allow Iranian minorities to survive.
Another particular demonstration was that held by foreign Islamic "seminarians" of Qom, including a group of Americans who shouted, apart from the classic "Down with America" and "Down with Israel", a bizarre "Down with the pope". Gathered outside Qom's World Center for Islamic Sciences, they approved a manifesto addressed to "Mr Pope" and accused Christianity of having caused the last two world wars and thus of being without reason and without any right to criticize the use of violence in the name of religion.
Photos of the leader of the Lebanese Hezbollah, Nasrallah, have been taken down from the streets of Teheran and right now, the faces of "martyrs" (shahid) from the Iraq war are exposed.
On Friday at 7am, a traditional military parade will take place near the Mausoleum of Khomeini. In this atmosphere, the next attack of propaganda should not target religious minorities but rather "arrogant" states opposed to Iran's nuclear policy. This was announced by Ahmadinejad's address in New York yesterday.