As the Pope landed in Scotland today, he might have said a prayer of thanksgiving that, on top of all the other issues he will deal with, the smoldering ashes of a Quran is not among them. At the local, diocesan and Vatican levels, Catholics loudly condemned the planned burning of the Muslim holy book by a Florida evangelical church. Thankfully, the pastor relented.
Still, such fires are more easily lit than extinguished. Violence attributed to the plan continues in the disputed territory of Kashmir. At yesterday’s General Audience
, the Pope prayed that “the logic of reconciliation and peace may prevail” in the region.
In Muslim-majority countries, Christians were quick to assure their neighbours that Pastor Terry Jones did not speak for them. That distinction carries even more weight when stressed by the Muslims themselves.
In Amman, Jordan, a group of Muslim youth planted flowers in a Catholic Church courtyard
to emphasize that the American pastor "represents only himself, not all Christians."
“Those flowers are a symbol of enhancing the values of tolerance and of the longstanding relationship between Islam and Christianity,” the organizer told Al Arabiya News.
The flowers, along with a wreath and bouquets, were enthusiastically received by the Catholic congregation.