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Last Updated: Saturday, 8 October 2005, 13:57 GMT 14:57 UK
Bush's God controversy stirs press fury

Papers in the Arabic world recoil at remarks attributed to President Bush by a Palestinian official, to the effect that God had told him to invade Iraq.

The White House denied the alleged comments were ever made, and Nabil Shaath, the Palestinian official who said the president had told him he was "driven with a mission from God", later said he never thought that Mr Bush's remarks should be taken literally.

Other papers in the region comment on Mr Bush's assertion, at a speech in Washington, that Islamic radicals were seeking to establish an empire of terror from Spain to Indonesia.

Editorial in pan-Arab Al-Quds Al-Arabi

US President Bush told his Palestinian guests that he was driven with a mission from God... Had those statements come from an ordinary person, he would have been arrested straight away and taken to a lunatic asylum for treatment... Such statements cannot be made by someone who is mentally sound.

Editorial in Saudi Arabia's Al-Jazirah

The statements attributed to US President Bush on God's message to fight terrorists in Afghanistan and end the tyranny in Iraq... indicate that America is striving to practise a series of firm ideological principles, even if this is a major source of detriment to US interests and the interests of the Middle East... The fallacy of Bush's ideology lies in the fact that Bush thinks it is America's right to decide people's fate.

Editorial in Egypt's Al-Ahram

US President Bush has warned of "a radical Islamic empire that spans from Spain to Indonesia"... This is simply a preposterous statement... It is illogical to rely on the views of small radical groups that have neither weight nor influence to create such a phantom called "radical Islamic empire".

Editorial in Saudi Arabia's Al-Watan

Bush might have been right about the expansion of the base of the terrorist network to span from Spain to Indonesia. This corresponds with reality and the statements of the Indonesian investigator about indications the Bali bombers belonged to a new generation of terrorists. After four years of war on terrorism and two consecutive wars that Bush dragged the world into, here we are reaping the benefits of these efforts represented in a new generation of terrorists.

Commentary by Farah Maamar in Algeria's Le Soir d'Algerie

Bush has just discovered "Islamist imperialism"! All the same, this awakening is late, all the more so since it has been more than a dozen years that Algeria has been struggling all alone against "the bogeyman" that is now being waved about by the White House!... Bin Ladin-style imperialism, we've experienced it!

BBC Monitoring selects and translates news from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages. It is based in Caversham, UK, and has several bureaus abroad.


Bush God comments 'not literal'
07 Oct 05 |  Americas
White House denies Bush God claim
06 Oct 05 |  Americas

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