Ciertamente, en los años 80 el enemigo de Occidente y de la Cristiandad era aún el comunismo, pero aún así se sorprenden uno de la listas de gestos proislámicos de Juan Pablo II que nos presentan aquí (How does one improve one’s relationships with the Jews? Let me count the ways…):
One of his first trips abroad was to Turkey, a nominally secular but in fact overwhelmingly Muslim country. That was in 1979. In a talk to the Turkish Catholics he demanded respect for the religious and moral values of Islam, so critically endangered to be daunted by Catholic influence.
In 1985 he visited Morocco at the invitation of King Hassan II and became thus the first pope to visit an Islamic country at the invitation of its religious leader. At a historic meeting with thousands of Muslim youths in Casablanca Stadium, he emphasized that «we believe in the same God, the one God, the living God», as indeed any nice little dhimmi would.
During a trip to Egypt in 2000, the pope met Islamic clerics of Cairo’s al-Azhar University, which expanded the Official Catholic-Muslim dialogue.
In 2001, as mentioned above, John Paul II became the first pope to enter a Muslim place of worship when he visited the Umayyad mosque in Damascus. He paused to pray at a memorial to St. John the Baptist inside the mosque in an event that was televised around much of the Muslim world, which was not all that amazing because, to Muslims, it was another clear gesture of submission.
In 2003 Pope John Paul II took further steps to improve Catholic relationships with the Jews and criticized Israel for building a barrier in the West Bank, saying the Middle East «does not need walls but bridges», which safely equalled «Middle East» with «killing Jews» and nobody noticed, not even the pope himself. «The construction of the wall between the Israeli people and the Palestinian people is seen by many as a new obstacle on the road leading to peaceful cohabitation,» he said and nobody laughed.
Not that his devotion to Islam was uncritical. Visiting Muslim-dominated places like Sudan, the pope publicly called for mutual respect for religious freedom, which must have been of great comfort for the many Christians while they were hacked to small pieces with big knifes by all those peaceful Muslims just out for a dialogue.
The slaying of a bishop and missionaries in Algeria prompted the pope to — you’ve guessed it — denounce all those who would kill in the name of God, without further asking who else but Muslims are still in the habit of killing in the name of — their — God.
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