About 1,000 Muslim clerics and religious scholars meeting Thursday in eastern Pakistan demanded the removal of Pope Benedict XVI for making what they called "insulting remarks" against Islam.
Benedict "should be removed from his position immediately for encouraging war and fanning hostility between various faiths" and "making insulting remarks" against Islam, said a joint statement issued by the clerics and scholars at the end of their one-day convention.
The "pope, and all infidels, should know that no Muslim, under any circumstances, can tolerate an insult to the Prophet (Muhammad). ... If the West does not change its stance regarding Islam, it will face severe consequences," it said.
UNITED NATIONS: The major powers have given Iran a new deadline of early October to suspend uranium enrichment and begin negotiations on a package of rewards for stepping back from a nuclear showdown, a senior European diplomat said Wednesday.Ooh, the Frenchman says it's becoming urgent, just after his President announced that Iran should not face sanctions. France talking out of both sides of its mouth as usual.
The five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany and Italy agreed at a meeting late Tuesday to give European negotiators more time to convince Iran to give up its enrichment program before seeking sanctions against Tehran as called for under a UN resolution.
But the meeting set a deadline of early October for success in the negotiations between European foreign policy chief Javier Solana and Iranian negotiator Ali Larijani, the diplomat said.
Speaking Wednesday, French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy said the major powers -- Britain, China, France, Germany, Italy, Russia and the United States -- agreed that Iran must respond rapidly.
"We must have a response fairly quickly," he said, "it's becoming urgent."
NBC News reports that President Bush and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) have reached a deal on military tribunals. Details of the compromise have yet to be released, but according to news accounts, “the White House has dropped its insistence on redefining the obligations of the United States under the Geneva Conventions.”
No word yet on whether Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter (R-PA) has also agreed to the compromise. Specter earlier took issue with the McCain, Warner, and Graham position:I disagree with Senator McCain, Graham and Warner and the president trying to eliminate habeas corpus, that is judicial review, because we have so many complicated matters. When you come to the Geneva Convention, we have to follow the Geneva Convention.
More details to follow.
Saying that the "moment of truth" had arrived, Livny continued, "The international community is faced with no greater responsibility than to stand against this dark and growing danger - not for Israel’s sake, but for its own; for the sake of the values it claims to embrace; for the sake of the world we all wish our children to inherit."I liked what Bush said and I hope it's a gentle hint:
"What more needs to happen for the world to take this threat seriously?" she asked. "What more needs to happen to end the hesitation and the excuses? We know the lessons of the past. We know the consequences of appeasement and indifference. There is no place for such leaders in this forum. There is no place for such a regime in the family of nations."
Asked how the US would react if Iran attacked Israel, Bush said, “You can't just hope for the best. You've got to assume that the leader, when he says that he would like to destroy Israel, means what he says. If you say, 'Well, gosh, maybe he doesn't mean it,' and you turn out to be wrong, you have not done your duty as a world leader."
Iraqi insurgents are no longer using just volunteers as suicide car bombers but are instead kidnapping drivers, rigging their vehicles with explosives and blowing them up, the Defense Ministry said Thursday.
In what appears to be a new tactic for the insurgency, the ministry said the kidnap victims do not know their cars have been loaded with explosives when they are released.
The ministry issued a statement saying that first "a motorist is kidnapped with his car. They then booby trap the car without the driver knowing. Then the kidnapped driver is released and threatened to take a certain road."