The pope and the terrorist

Op-ed: Late pope's endorsement of anti-suicide terrorism convention a great act

Shimon Samuels,7340,L-4065690,00.html

We focused on "suicide terrorism" as the most costly in terms of human life, an increasingly global phenomenon - including targets across the Muslim world - and a distortion of the religious value of the sanctity of human life into a culture of death.

Turkey's then-Foreign Minister, now President, Abdullah Gül, privately endorsed the document but declined to follow up. The Australian Parliament passed a resolution in its favor.

Had the Convention been ratified, accomplices in the chain of terror might have been prosecuted in jurisdictions beyond their own.

As it is, seven Iranians sought by INTERPOL in the 1994 AMIA Jewish Centre in Argentina bombing sit safely at home or feel free to travel in the Muslim world with impunity.

'No impunity for mass murder'
This week's actions, perhaps, may put the global sponsors and facilitators of terrorism on notice – from Ahmadinejad to Nasrallah, from Al-Awlaki to Al-Quaradawi.

They should understand, during these historic days, that the pursuit of justice is inexorable.

Simon Wiesenthal noted that "there can be no impunity for mass murder or terrorism, nor time limits for the prosecution of their perpetrators."

The beatified Pope John Paul II, with a trembling hand pressed his Pontifical ring as a seal into our Convention. For this benediction alone he deserves Sainthood.

Bin Laden is gone, but his seeds lay dormant. May they be rendered stillborn.

Dr. Shimon Samuels is Director for International Relations, Simon Wiesenthal Center, Paris, France