Al-Qaeda Denounces Pope's Trip to Turkey

Cairo, Egypt (AP) -- As the Pope continues his visit to mostly Muslim turkey, al-Qaeda in Iraq is denouncing it as a "crusader campaign" against Islam.

In a statement on a militant web site, the terror group accuses Pope Benedict of trying to "extinguish the burning ember of Islam" in the Turkish people.

Many Muslims remain angry over a speech Benedict made two months ago, citing a medieval text linking the prophet Muhammad to violence.

But in response, the Vatican says al-Qaeda's statement shows the need for all faiths to stop what it calls "violence in the name of God."

A Vatican spokesman says all faiths need to commit their forces against violence.

Copyright 2006 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.


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