by Lorna Salzman
Islamists Charge Zionist Plot; Pope Benedict's Speech Called Phony
A consortium of Islamic organizations, including Al Awda/Palestine Right of Return and the Committees for Palestine Liberation, today held a press conference at which it issued a statement challenging the authenticity of Pope Benedict's recent speech in which he quoted an ancient Byzantine emperor who described the violence of Islam and its doctrines.
Wahhabi Al-Gebra, spokesman for the Islamic groups, stated: "There is nothing whatsoever in any Islamic writings, preachings or doctrines that could be construed as supporting or urging violence. Since the Pope is considered infallible, he obviously knows this already. Therefore, the person who delivered these remarks cannot be the Pope and must have been a vile Jew in disguise".
Al-Gebra was then asked by a reporter at the press conference to support his claims that Islam is a peaceful religion and that Muslims would never resort to violence of any kind, citing the widespread riots that took place in Muslim countries in response to the publication of cartoons in a Danish newspaper as well as the fatwa issued against Salman Rushdie because of his novel, The Satanic Verses, the death threats made against Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a Muslim forced to leave the Netherlands due to death threats, and the murder of Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh, who made a film critical of Islam.
Al-Gebra insisted that the reports of these riots were deliberately distorted by the world press. "Everyone knows that the Jews control the press, TV and radio throughout the world and that they are now plotting to take over the oil supplies in Iraq, Iran, Sudan, Nigeria, Mexico, Venezuela, and ultimately in Alaska and the Gulf of Mexico, so we cannot trust any news reports anywhere".
The murder of the filmmaker, said Al-Gebra, "was obviously committed by a Zionist in Arabic clothing", and the fatwa against Rushdie, he said, "was misinterpreted in order to cast aspersions on Muslims".
"It is against our religion to kill", said Al-Gebra, "therefore these rioters and murderers cannot be Muslims.....this is perfectly obvious to everyone". "However, we will not tolerate Islam being insulted by vile, filthy, lying, thieving, pig-loving Jews, whom we respect of course". When the reporter suggested that these remarks about Jews were at least as a insulting as the criticism of Islam by the Pope if not more so, he responded: "We are just practicing our right to freedom of speech".