The Pope in Abu Dhabi

The Pope in Abu Dhabi February 6, 2019


UAE's LDS meetinghouse
The Abu Dhabi Stake Center, located in the United Arab Emirates (UAE)


Every year, at least once, I stand at approximately the place from which the photograph (of Cave 4) that accompanies this article was taken and speak to a tour group about the Dead Sea Scrolls and, sometimes, about the prominent role that Brigham Young University once played in their study and publication:


“Search for undiscovered Dead Sea Scrolls reveals dispute over West Bank artifacts”




This is actually quite remarkable:


Pilgrims in the Gulf: The Pope’s historic visit to the Arabian peninsula: It will shine a light on the ways in which the UAE is growing more liberal—and where it is not”


“Pope in historic UAE visit urges faith leaders to reject war”




Here’s a more or less related item:


“I Lead the Muslim World League.  Here is Why I  Broke Taboos to Acknowledge the Holocaust”


This is the passage from the Qur’an to which the author refers:


And we have sent the Book down to you with the truth, confirming what you already have of the Book and making it sure.  So judge between them according to what God has sent down and do not follow their whims away from the truth that has come to you.  We have made a code of conduct and a path for each of you.  And if God had willed, he could have made you a single community, except in order to test you on what has come to you.  So vie with one another in good works.  To God will be your return, all of you, and he will then inform you concerning the matters on which you disagreed.  (Qur’an 5:48, my translation)




“‘We’re not the enemy’: Muslim fans respond to Chicago Cubs patriarch’s emails”




I found his tear-jerking television advertisements massively irritating and the omnipresent photographs of him in the jet bridges at Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport annoying.  He made it sound as if Israel were a desperately poor Third World country full of starving people, when it’s actually a remarkably affluent center for tourism, pharmaceuticals, and high tech, as well as a major recipient of American foreign aid and American philanthropy — while, in the meantime, there really are desperate Third World countries full of starving people.  And yet I’m shocked and surprised and, yes, saddened at the news of his apparently sudden passing:


“Yechiel Eckstein was a bridge to Christian evangelicals”



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