Next Thursday, May 14, Pope Benedict XVI will visit Nazareth and appear at the Church of the Annunciation.
The Muslims of Nazareth are split in their reactions, but some have responded viscerally.
Multiple Islamic signs, in both Arabic and English, with some bearing the image of the Dome of the Rock, have been hung in the large plaza outside of the church in anticipation of the Pope’s arrival.
One such sign reads: “And whoever seeks a religion other than Islam, it will never be accepted of him, and in the Hereafter he will be one of the losers.”
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While another sign reads: “In the name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful Say (O Muhammad): He is Allah, (the) One and Only Allah, the Eternal, Absolute. He begetteth not nor was He begotten And there is none Like unto him,” in a quote attributed to the Quran.
As The Bulletin reported on April 21, Islamists in Nazareth have handed out thousands of flyers denouncing the Pope and stating that he is unwelcome.
“We announce from Nazareth that we are oppose to the Pope’s visit. A person who cursed the prophet, who stood at the head of the effort to convert Muslims in Darfur, Indonesia and the Muslim world, attacked Islam, praised America and drew near and fraternized with the butcher of Gaza is unwanted here,” the flyer read.
There has been no action on the part of the municipality to remove these signs prior to the Pope’s arrival.
David Bedein can be reached at email@example.com