The following was taken from an AP artical "Iraq al-Qaida says pope, West are doomed"
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 vowing to continue its holy war against the West. The authenticity of the statement could not be independently verified.
The group said Muslims would be victorious and addressed the pope as "the worshipper of the cross" saying "you and the West are doomed as you can see from the defeat in Iraq, Afghanistan, Chechnya and elsewhere. ... We will break up the cross, spill the liquor and impose head tax, then the only thing acceptable is a conversion (to Islam) or (killed by) the sword."
I could be wrong, but if you ask me it seems more and more as if the pope spoke truth.
No, I don't fully understand Islam. And I won't pretend to. But if you are going to protest against someone who describes your religion as violent, reacting with violence might not be the wisest way to do so. If you don't like the pope saying that your religion is spread by the sword and you want to prove him wrong, you probably shouldn't threaten the use of the sword.
Now, don't get me wrong. Not every anti-vatican protest has been violent or threatening in nature. 200 Muslims participated in a sit in organized in Damascus. That is how it should be done. If Islamic protesters wanted to rid themselves of their violent image they should look for more peaceful methods of protest. Continued violence, threats, and hateful messages does nothing but fuel the steotype that most westerners believe as true.