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09 May 2009

Taleban warn pope on 'proselytism'

7b42dfe6db0aa85c17d465bc73f8fee6.jpg'Reaction' threat after US soldiers seen with Bibles

ANSA) - Rome, May 7 - The Taleban have warned Pope Benedict XVI to help stop alleged attempts to convert Muslims in Afghanistan, in order to prevent ''serious consequences''.

The apparent threat appeared on a Taleban-linked website Thursday after Arab-language network Al Jazeera showed US soldiers in Afghanistan holding copies of the Bible translated into local languages.

''The Islamic Emirate in Afghanistan asks Pope Benedict XVI to act to stop the foolish and irresponsible actions of the crusaders upsetting the feelings of Muslim rebels, without awaiting the consequences of a severe reaction,'' said a Taleban message on the website, alemarah1.org.

''The Taleban forcefully exhort the mujaheddin, scholars and all religious circles to control the activities of the invaders and crusaders, and not allow anyone to preach religions except Islam,'' the message said.

Al Jazeera showed US soldiers in Bagram, not far from Kabul, with a pile of Bibles translated into the two local languages.

The US army subsequently said that ''any form of religious proselytism by troops is prohibited'' and assured that the bibles had been ''confiscated and destroyed''.

Trying to convert Muslims is a crime in Afghanistan and other Islamic countries.

The warning was issued amid mounting protests in Afghanistan against civilian deaths in recent US bombing raids.

It also came on the eve of the the pope's week-long trip to the Holy Land.

POSTED BY / http://www.ansa.

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