Saturday, April 02, 2005

An Appreciation: Thank You Pope John Paul II And Ahmed Al-Baghdadi of Kuwait

Mohammed at ITM brings us news of Kuwaiti Freedom Fighter Ahmed Al-Baghdadi.

Ahmed was sentenced to a year in prison, paying a 2000 KD fine (7000$) and he had to sign a paper in which he promises no to return back to crime again!!

And his crime?

Mohammed notes: Ahmed learnt that the government wanted to increase the hours of teaching Quran and Islamic religion in schools and that would be on the expense of the music class. So Ahmed "committed his crime" and wrote the following on Assiyasah (The Politics) newspaper:

Is there no end for this backwardness?

I don't want my son to receive lessons from some ignorant people who teach him to disrespect women, non Muslims and many others and I don't want those culturally retarded uneducated people who choose the curriculums to fill my son's head with myths about Satan.

And frankly speaking, I don't want my son to learn *"Tajweed" because I don't want him to become a cleric or a Quran reader, reading the verses over dark graves. I also want to protect him from the possibility of joining terrorism whether
practically or mentally.

Bottom line is, I want my son to have a future that makes me proud of him, his knowledge, mentality and work and I don't want to have him raised and taught in a way that makes me ashamed of his doings in the future. Is there no end for this backwardness?

The road Freedom Fighters travel is a lonely one. Strewn with Bandits of Tyranny and Totalitarian Regimes and those who Enable Them, ready at any
time to strike out at the Freedom Fighters, whom
are on a quest for Truth and Democracy.

And such a Freedom Fighter was Karol Wojtyla,
the man who would be Pope John Paul II.

Kate O'Beirne from The Corner notes the
sadness In young Karol Wojtyla's life:


I have always been struck by the Pope's tragic childhood. He was eight when his mother died
and 12 when he lost his beloved older brother
to scarlet fever. He lived alone with his
devoted father. A priest in the parish where
Karol Wojtyla was an altar boy said he saw
"the shadow of early orphanage on him."

And yet he overcame those personal tragedies to fight both Nazism and Communism.

As Margaret Thatcher recalls (via
The Corner):

We should remember Pope John Paul II not just as the greatest Pope of modern times but also as a valiant fighter for the truth," she said.

His life was a long struggle against the lies employed to excuse evil. By combating the falsehoods of communism and proclaiming the true dignity of the individual, his was the moral force behind victory in the Cold War.

Millions owe him their freedom and self respect. The whole world is inspired by his example.

President Bush (Hat Tip: Instapundit) calls him: "ONE OF HISTORY'S GREAT MORAL LEADERS"

Laura and I join people across the Earth in mourning the passing of Pope John Paul II. The Catholic Church has lost its shepherd, the world has lost a champion of human freedom, and a good and faithful servant of God has been called home.

Pope John Paul II left the throne of St. Peter in the same way he ascended to it -- as a witness to the dignity of human life. In his native Poland, that witness launched a democratic revolution that swept Eastern Europe and changed the course of history. Throughout the West, John Paul's witness reminded us of our obligation to build a culture of life in which the strong protect the weak. And during the Pope's final years, his witness was made even more powerful by his daily courage in the face of illness and great suffering.

All Popes belong to the world, but Americans had special reason to love the man from Krakow. In his visits to our country, the Pope spoke of our "providential" Constitution, the self-evident truths about human dignity in our Declaration, and the "blessings of liberty" that follow from them. It is these truths, he said, that have led people all over the world to look to America with hope and respect.

Pope John Paul II was, himself, an inspiration to millions of Americans, and to so many more throughout the world. We will always remember the humble, wise and fearless priest who became one of history's great moral leaders. We're grateful to God for sending such a man, a son of Poland, who became the Bishop of Rome, and a hero for the ages.

Jonah Goldberg at The Corner details the Pope's great strength
among his own frailities:

The man has been suffering for a long time and he has endured that suffering with greater dignity than most of us could dream of mustering. He lived a long life of great courage and conviction, acting nobly when acting otherwise would have been much easier and less dangerous. Through his actions and his example he left the entire world a better and safer place than when he left it. When his time comes, be it in hours or days or whenever, few will say he hadn't done more than his fair share. This is no tragedy. His life isn't being brought short by the hand of man. There's no cause for rage. But there's room for gratitude and the sort of remorse one feels when the world is made a little less by the loss of someone it sorely needed.

Fayrouz at Iraqi In America comments:

I was privileged to live during your time.
Middle Eastern Catholics will miss you so much. Youth around the world will miss you the most.

EWTN (Hat Tip: The Corner) has various rememberances of John Paul II
including Lech Walesa:

"We know what the pope has achieved. Fifty percent of the collapse of communism is his doing. After his first visit as pope to Poland, he ended Mass with a prayer for the Holy Spirit to "renew the face of the Earth," words that became a rallying cry. After that we were able to organize 10 million people for strikes, protests and negotiations. Earlier we tried and couldn't do it. These are facts. Of course, communism would have fallen, but much later and in a bloody way. He was a gift from the heavens to us." - Lech Walesa, founder of Solidarity Movement

There's a story told about Pope John Paul II's visit to Boston. He was riding around in his Special Pope Mobile touring the city, waving to the onlookers, and greeting the faithful. When suddenly, he got out of the Pope Mobile, got down on his knees, and kissed the ground. Stood straight up, raised his arms in the air, and said: "Thank You, America!" We thank you too, Pope, for your Courage and Nobility.

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