If there’s one consistent element in the media’s coverage of the Mohammed riots, it’s that Muslims are sensitive darlings who get very upset when religion is offended. All they really want is for everyone to respect religion… their religion.
Some 1,000 demonstrators marched from Tripoli’s Al-Mansouri Mosque to nearby Nour Square following Friday prayers, shouting slogans against the U.S. and Pope Benedict XVI, who began a three-day visit to Lebanon.
They tore down posters and banners welcoming the pope that had been put in place by Saad Hariri’s Future Movement.
The demonstrators ignored warning shots fired by police, and tried unsuccessfully to make their way to the Tripoli Serail, which is close to Nour Square, hurling stones at policemen blocking their path. Some demonstrators also beat policemen with wooden and steel sticks.
Finding themselves unable to storm the Serail, the protesters headed some 500 meters down the road to a KFC/Hardee’s outlet, setting the establishment on fire. They also set four delivery mopeds ablaze.
The Pope has a rather important role in Catholicism, but that’s okay because the only religious figure that Muslims expect everyone to respect is Mohammed.
If Christians pulled down posters with Koranic verses on them, there would be more riots and murders. But because they didn’t have access to the Pope, they fell back on the usual Muslim protest outlet, burning a fried chicken franchise. KFC Akbar.
Is it something that the Pope did or said? Not in the least.
“I have come to Lebanon as a pilgrim of peace,” the pope said upon his arrival in Beirut. “As a friend of God and as a friend of men.”
Earlier, speaking to reporters aboard his plane, the pope called for an end to weapons imports to Syria and called them a sin. Syria’s rebels have appealed for weapons shipments to help them fight the regime. He also praised the Arab Spring uprisings, which have ousted four long-time dictators.
The attacks on the Pope are plain and simple Islamic intolerance of all religion, but their own. That is what is behind these protesters and this intolerance should be directly addressed.
Naturally Muslim religious intolerance was not limited to Christianity. On the Temple Mount, the holiest site in Judaism, Muslims engaged in their usual antics on the site that they had occupied and transformed into the Al Aqsa Mosque, cursing, screaming and throwing stones.
Jerusalem police clashed with hundreds of Muslim youth Friday after they left prayers atop the Temple Mount in the direction of the Damascus Gate. Police said the rioters were on their way to the US consulate, In a rare move, the US State Department on Thursday issued a travel warning for Jerusalem, urging American citizens to “defer nonessential travel and exercise caution.”
Muslim demands that people respect their religion might have some credibility if they showed equal respect for the religions of others.