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Pope's inter-religious meeting marred by Islamic leader's tirade against Israel

May 11, 2009

A May 11 inter-faith forum in Jerusalem, organized for the visit by Pope Benedict XVI, was disrupted by an angry Islamic leader who denounced the Israeli "desecration" of the Holy Land and called for the establishment of a sovereign Palestinian state. Sheikh Taysir al Tamimi brushed aside efforts to silence him as he appealed to the Pope to denounce the "crimes" of Israeli occupation. Israeli government officials condemned the Muslim cleric's "hateful" speech, and representatives of the Chief Rabbinate announced that they would not participate in future inter-religious meetings unless Tamini was excluded.


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