மெக்தி ஆலம்


Pope Benedict XVI baptizes prominent Italian Muslim
The Associated PressPublished: March 23, 2008

 

 

இத்தாலியின் மிக முக்கியமான முஸ்லீம் போப் முன்னிலையில் கத்தோலிக்கத்தை தழுவினார்

போப்பாண்டவர் பெனடிக்ட் 16 இத்தாலியின் முக்கிய முஸ்லீமான எகிப்தியரான மெக்தி ஆலம் என்பவர் மீது தண்ணீர் ஊற்றி, கிறிஸ்துவ மதத்தில் சேர்ந்ததாக அறிவித்தார்.

இந்த மெக்தி ஆலம், முஸ்லீமாக இருந்தபோது பாலஸ்தீன தற்கொலைப்படைகளை கண்டித்தார். அதனால் ஹமாஸ் என்ற அமைப்பு இவரை கொல்லப்போவதாக அறிவித்தது. இதனால், தீவிரமாக சிந்தித்த மெக்தி ஆலம், இஸ்லாமின் அடிப்படையே வன்முறைதான் என்று அறிந்து "இஸ்ரேல் வாழ்க" என்று ஒரு புத்தகத்தை எழுதினார்.

அதன் பிறகு பல வருடங்கள் கழித்து தற்போது கத்தோலிக்க மதத்தையும் தழுவியுள்ளார்.

Pope Benedict XVI baptizes prominent Italian Muslim
The Associated PressPublished: March 23, 2008

VATICAN CITY: A prominent Italian Muslim – an iconoclastic writer who has condemned Islamic extremism and defended Israel – converted to Catholicism in a baptism by the pope at the Vatican Easter service.

Magdi Allam, an Egyptian-born, non-practicing Muslim who is married to a Roman Catholic, has infuriated some Muslims with his books and columns in the daily newspaper Corriere della Sera, where he is a deputy editor.

Allam titled one book "Long Live Israel."

As a choir sang Saturday night, Pope Benedict XVI poured holy water over Allam's head and said a brief prayer in Latin.

"We no longer stand alongside or in opposition to one another," Benedict said in a homily reflecting on the meaning of baptism. "Thus faith is a force for peace and reconciliation in the world: distances between people are overcome, in the Lord we have become close."

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Allam, 55, told the newspaper Il Giornale in a December interview that his criticism of Palestinian suicide bombings had provoked threats on his life in 2003, prompting the Italian government to provide him with a security detail.

Yahya Pallavicini, vice president of Coreis, a group of observant Muslims in Italy, said he respected Allam's choice but said he was "perplexed" by the symbolic and high-profile way in which he chose to convert.

"If Allam truly was compelled by a strong spiritual inspiration, perhaps it would have been better to do it delicately," Pallavicini said, according to a report by the ANSA news agency.

Allam, who has a young son with his Catholic wife and two adult children from a previous relationship, indicated in the Il Giornale interview that he would have no problem converting to Christianity. He did not speak to the press Saturday, and his newspaper said it had no information about his conversion.

Allam explained his decision to title a recent book "Viva Israele" by saying he wrote it after he received death threats from Hamas.

"Having been condemned to death, I have reflected a long time on the value of life. And I discovered that behind the origin of the ideology of hatred, violence and death is the discrimination against Israel. Everyone has the right to exist except for the Jewish state and its inhabitants," he said. "Today, Israel is the paradigm of the right to life."

In 2006, Allam was a co-winner, with three other journalists, of the $1 million Dan David Prize, named for an Israeli entrepreneur.

The prize committee cited Allam for "his ceaseless work in fostering understanding and tolerance between cultures."

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