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Pope to Enter Muslim Mosque

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    Pope to Enter Muslim Mosque

    The Pope began the historic pilgrimage to Syria on Saturday with an emotional plea to Israel and its Arab neighbors to reach out for peace in the troubled Middle East.

    But if he needed a reminder of the deep hatreds in and around the Holy Land, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was there to reiterate a hard line against Israel.

    Assad, who in March said Israelis were more racist than Nazis, called on the Pontiff to stand by the Arabs in their struggle to regain their land and their rights from Israel.

    He likened the suffering of Arabs under Israeli occupation to the biblical suffering of Jesus Christ at the hands of first century Jews.

    The Pope said he hoped that in the region, ``fear will turn into trust and contempt to mutual esteem, that force will give way to dialogue, and that a genuine desire to serve the common good will prevail.''

    the entire thing at:

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