Wire Service: AP
On September 18, 2006 the Associated Press reported, "Al-Qaida in Iraq and its allies responded on Monday to Pope Benedict XVI's remarks on Islam and holy war, proclaiming that jihad would continue until Islam takes over the world. Schools and shops in Kashmir shut their doors and demonstrators took to the streets in Iraq and Indonesia and staged a sit-in at a mosque in Damascus to protest the pontiff despite attempts by the Vatican to quell the fury. Monday's reaction came a day after the pope apologized for the angry response to a speech he gave last week, quoting a medieval text characterizing some of the Prophet Muhammad's teachings as 'evil and inhuman.' Many Muslims said Benedict's explanation was not enough. The Mujahedeen Shura Council, an umbrella organization of Sunni Arab extremist groups that includes al-Qaida in Iraq, issued a statement on a Web forum about the pope's remarks, saying the pontiff and the West were 'doomed.' The authenticity of the statement could not be immediately independently verified... In some parts of the Middle East, where Muslims hurled firebombs at seven churches in the West Bank and Gaza Strip over the weekend, Christian leaders posted guards outside some churches."