I read at Il Giornale today that the prayer read by the Imam in the Vatican Gardens was indeed from the Sura 2, wherein Allah is asked to crush infidels (that’s us) and let Islam triumph over the whole world (that’s us, too). Vatican Radio, at the time, tried to give this an allegorical spin. It didn’t work very well. At a certain point it seems they also tried to edit out the troubling passage.
Suffice to say that an Imam sang: “grant us victory over the heathen/disbelieving/infidel” (Sura 2: 286) in the Vatican Gardens, in front of the Pope, during an “ecumenical” gathering for peace.
My fast translation:
He wasn’t in a mosque, but in the Vatican Gardens and, a few meters away from him, there was also Pope Francis. It’s 8 June, Pentecost Sunday. In the Vatican, at prayer for peace in the Midde East, there are, with the Pontiff, Abu Mazen and Shimon Peres. But the Sure II read by the Imam wasn’t agreed on ahead of time. This is about a breach in protcol that many have taken as an offense.
The incident, reported by Andrea Morigi in Libero, was for a long time swept under the carpet. The text read by the Palestinian Sunni Imam was not agreed upon ahead of time and the harsh tones about infidels (miscredenti) were not in line with the spirit of the day which had been proposed by Bergoglio during his visit in the Holy Land. “At that moment,” Morigi recounts, “the dignitaries of the three monotheistic religions didn’t bat an eye. Those who knew Arabic pretended not to notice anything, even if the videos of the event show them decidedly embarrassed.” Pope Francis, however, wasn’t in a position to take in the importance of what happened. On an official level, the breach in protocol was immediately minimized: Fr Bernd Hagenkord, the Jesuit head of the German section of Vatican Radio, tried to give another reading of Sura II from the Koran. It’s a pity that the passage read by the Imam was immediately excised by Vatican Radio itself.