Al-Qaida in Iraq and its allies have posted a warning to Pope Benedict, proclaiming a holy war against the West until Islam rules the world.
The Internet statement also addresses controversial remarks made by the pope last week. The pope has since issued an apology for causing offense by citing the words of a Byzantine emperor who described some Islamic teachings as "evil and inhuman."
The Web site warning said the pope and the West are "doomed," adding that the only choices ahead are between converting to Islam or death. The authenticity of the Web site statement could not be independently verified.
Meanwhile, protests against the pope's remarks continue today from the Middle East to Asia.
Pakistan's ambassador to the U.N. in Geneva says the pontiff's apology should reassure Muslim countries. But in Pakistani-ruled Kashmir, protesters chanted "Death to the Pope."
Also Monday, Catholic bishops met in Istanbul to decide whether the pope's visit to Turkey in November should proceed. A Vatican spokesman says the visit will go ahead as scheduled.
(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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