Monday, March 24, 2008

L'affaire Allam

The baptism of Egyptian-born ex-Muslim Italian journalist Magdi Allam by Pope Benedict at the Easter Vigil at St. Peter's on Saturday has become something of a media event.

Today, Mr. Allam wrote a column in the Italian daily Corriere della Sera. Zenit has a translation up. It's worth reading.

Lots of folks have commented on the event. I particularly want to draw attention to the excellent and civil conversation between Abu Daoud, a Christian living in the Middle East (who maintains the excellent blog, Islam and Christianity) and Sherry Wadell of Intentional Disciples. [The civility of their discussion is a sorely needed model for conversation and conduct in the blogosphere, even (especially?) in the Catholic blogosphere!]. Sherry raises some issues about the prudence of a such a public gesture (here and here). Abu Daoud disagrees with her.

Apart from the edifying nature of the conversation, it is also extremely helpful to hear in on the conversation of two people who are clearly seasoned missionaries, with a lot of experience of and knowledge about the realities of the Muslim world.

Whatever one's take on it (my initial reaction was, "Yeah! Go B16! Alleluia!"), it's absolutely true that Allam and his family (and the Holy Father!) needs everyone's prayers, as do so many in the Muslim world who are drawn to a life in Christ.

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