The Sword Of Islam
As Pastorius mentioned in an earlier posting, King Abdullah presented Pope Benedict with the gift of a sword. Please read Pastorius's posting before proceeding.
Here is the photo of the Saudi king's gift to the Pope:
Robert Spencer's commentary (emphases mine):
An ironic gift, yes, in light of the furor in the Islamic world over the Pope's remarks at Regensberg, but not one meant to be insulting. Indeed, it is, as Reuters tells us, a traditional gift. But it does reveal something about Abdullah's self-image as the leader of an Islamic state -- a state which, after all, has a sword on its flag, right underneath the Islamic profession of faith. To Abdullah, such a gift is clearly not inconsistent with his view of Islam or of himself as an Islamic leader.Well, at least the Pope didn't pick up the sword and wear it, as Laura Bush recently did when she was presented with an abaya (followed by posting her abaya-clad photo on the White House web site). Instead, according to what Pastorius cited in his posting, Pope Benedict
But just imagine Pope Benedict XVI giving anyone a sword. He wouldn't, because such a gift would be inconsistent with his own self-image as a Christian leader, and with his view of Christianity. He views Christianity as a religion of peace. At his meeting with Abdullah, the contrast between the two religions, so controverted and controversial elsewhere, was plain, and taken for granted.
...merely touched the sword.I wonder....Did the Pope, in the spirit of reciprocity, present the Saudi king with a crucifix? I can't imagine so. Mustn't offend the Saudi King, you know.