Osama Bin Laden’s death might radicalise a conflict and lead to open warfare between Christianity and Islam, something Pope Benedict XVI strongly opposes. For Aoun Sahi, a Muslim journalist and expert on religion and politics in Pakistan, this “is a real danger.” In his view, the al Qaeda leader killed yesterday by US Special Forces “was not an Islamic leader, but his followers are all Muslim”. Pakistan’s Christian minority might be the first victim of revenge. Many Catholic leaders share this fear. Although they agree that his death was a “success” in the fight against terrorism, they are also adamant that Christians in their demand for greater protection. Indeed, they insist that Bin Laden’s death should not be the cause of any rejoicing, as the Vatican said in a press release yesterday, because no one’s death should be source of celebration.

A “war of religion” remains the worst fear, stoked by fundamentalist groups bent on avenging Bin Laden’s death, this according to Aoun Sahi, a Muslim and editorialist at The News International, as well as an expert on religion and politics in Pakistan.

Minorities, including Christians, are an easy target of radical groups, he said. Whilst “Osama Bin Laden was not an Islamic leader, his followers are all Muslim” and will probably react to his death with attacks. Pakistan could see this because it is a softer target than the United States or Europe. Its Christian minority (unfairly associated with the US and the West) is a privileged target.

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