ROMA, August 18, 2005 – The penultimate event of Benedict XVI's visit to Cologne, before the vigil and Mass with the young people of World Youth Day XX, will be a Saturday, August 20 meeting with the "representatives of some of the Muslim communities."
The meeting will take place at the residence of the city's archbishop. The Muslims asked the pope to visit a mosque, but Benedict XVI declined the invitation.
His prudence is understandable. Cologne and Munich – where Joseph Ratzinger was archbishop from 1977 to 1981 – are the cities in which the Muslim Brotherhood, which has for decades been the main ideological and organizational source of radical Islam in the world, has gained control of most of the mosques and of active Islam in Germany and in Europe.
Mahdy Akef, an Egyptian now residing in Cairo who is the present murshid, or supreme guide, of the Muslim Brotherhood worldwide, is an explicit supporter of the suicide terrorists in Iraq. From 1984 until 1987, he directed the most dynamic Muslim center of Germany, in Munich, with its great mosque in the northern part of the city.
Munich was the birthplace of the Islamische Gemeinschaft in Deutschland, IGD, one of the largest Islamic organizations in Germany. The IGD is under the full control of the Muslim Brotherhood and has sixty mosques spread throughout the country.
For a few years, its organizational headquarters has been located in Cologne. The president of this body is Ibrahim Al Zayat, a 39-year-old Egyptian, the charismatic leader of a network of youth and student organizations that are linked to the World Assembly of Muslim Youth, WAMY, the largest Islamic youth organization in the world. WAMY is financed by Saudi Arabia, bears a strong, rigorist Wahhabi imprint, and produces vehemently anti-Jewish and anti-Christian publications.
Curiously, the commitment to young people on the part of the Roman papacy, which is celebrating one of its key moments in Cologne during these days, has in that same city a parallel in one of the leading centers in Europe for promoting radical activism among young Muslims.
Read the complete article From Cologne to the Conquest of Europe: How the Muslim Brotherhood is Challenging the Pope from www.chiesa.
Of key interest is Magister's look at the various Muslim leaders whom various Vatican officials have met over the years. Many of these leaders are well connected to radical Islam:
This is the same kind of misunderstanding that has compromised the dialogue between Vatican authorities and Muslim representatives a number of times.
One memorable occasion was the audience on October 13, 1993, held at the Vatican by John Paul II and Hassan Al Turabi of Sudan, who at the time was the leading ideologue in the world for radical Islamism, an inspirer and protector of Osama Bin Laden.
But in more recent times, and after the shift that took place on September 11, one can recall the meeting in Doha, in Qatar, from May 27-29, 2004. On the one side were Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, the previous foreign minister for the Holy See, and Archbishop Michael L. Fitzgerald, president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, and on the other were the leading imam of the Al Azhar mosque in Cairo, Muhammad Sayyed Tantawi, and one of the most widely followed leaders of Sunni Islam, Youssef Al Qaradawi.
Both prior to and since this meeting, Tantawi has repeatedly justified the Palestinian suicide terrorists. As for Qaradawi, he justified such acts even outside of the context of the Arab-Israeli conflict. Qaradawi completely embodies the stance of the Muslim Brotherhood, and is the de facto Islamic "maestro" with the greatest audience among the Arab people. But Qaradawi also has a broad audience among Muslim immigrants in Europe, where he founded the European Council for Fatwa and Research, which is headquartered in Ireland, in 1997.
The interreligious meetings organized every year by the Community of Sant' Egidio, with the participation of numerous cardinals and bishops, are another example of murky dialogue.
Last July 24, the newspaper of the Italian bishops' conference, "Avvenire," criticized the fact that at the 2004 meeting in Milan, authorization to speak had been granted to another apologist for the suicide terrorists: Ahmad Al Tayyib, the rector of the Al Azhar university in Cairo.
"Avvenire" also defined as "imprudent" the fact that some Italian universities – including the Pontifical Oriental Institute in Rome, which is affiliated with the Pontifical Gregorian University – have signed last June 15 an agreement to collaborate with that same university, Al Azhar. This is the most influential university in the Sunni Islamic world, with 400,000 students from 92 countries, and is under significant control from the Muslim Brotherhood.
One would think that the Vatican intelligence organs could get some serious information on these guys before they ended up meeting with various members of the Curia and at times the Holy Father himself.