Tiny Minority of Extremists Update from modern, secular Turkey. From AAP, with thanks to the Constantinopolitan Irredentist:
Tens of thousands of protesters denounced Pope Benedict XVI as an enemy of Islam at a rally that highlighted the deep strains in Turkey before hosting the pontiff this week.
Chants of "No to the Pope!" rose among the nearly 25,000 demonstrators at every mention of the pope's remarks on violence and the Prophet Muhammad. Many protesters wore headbands with anti-pope slogans and waved placards that included a depiction of Benedict as the grim reaper.
The protest, organised by an Islamist political party, was the largest mass gathering so far against Benedict's four-day visit scheduled to begin Tuesday - his first papal journey to a mostly Muslim nation. The outcry also was designed to rattle Turkey's establishment.
Turkish officials hope to use the visit to promote their ambitions of becoming the first Muslim nation in the European Union and showcase their secular political system. But pro-Islamic groups - which have been gaining strength for years - perceive Benedict as a symbol of Western intolerance and injustices against Muslims.
"The Pope is not wanted here," said Kubra Yigitoglu, 20, who attended the rally in a headscarf, ankle-length coat and cowboy boots.
Nearby, a large banner was raised amid a sea of red flags of the Saadet, or Felicity, party. It called the Vatican "a source of terror".
Sure. That's why those 19 Catholic priests flew those planes into the World Trade Center towers.