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When Faiths Collide: The Pope in Turkey; NYC Cop Shooting; Elderly Woman Shot; Burqa Ban?

Aired November 28, 2006 - 23:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Ankara, the capital, where he met briefly with Turkey's prime minister. What he told the Turkish leader surprised a lot of people. We will get to that in a moment.
First, John Roberts is standing by in New York with another story we are covering tonight -- John.


It is called contagious shooting, when police officers get caught in the heat of the moment and fire too many shots. Some are wondering if that is what happened in a shooting that sparked outrage here in New York City.

At this hour, Rick Sanchez heads to the shooting range to investigate contagious shootings -- Anderson.

COOPER: John, Pope Benedict XVI is the first pope to visit Turkey in 27 years. It is his first trip to a Muslim nation since becoming pope. And its original focus was supposed to be the riff between the orthodox Christians and Catholics, but a different collision of faith has taken center stage and all because of the remarks that Benedict made recently about Islam.

CNN Vatican Analyst John Allen is traveling with the pope. He joins me now.

John, good the see you. How do you think the pope today?


Well, I think if the point of day one of this trip was to try to put the relationship with Islam back on track, if that is what the pope wanted to do, then I would think the results have been overwhelmingly successful.

You know, obviously, one of the huge question marks coming into this trip, from the point of view of the Turks certainly, was whether or not the private position of then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger and the admission of Turkey to the E.U. -- and of course you will recall Cardinal Ratzinger was strongly opposed -- whether or not that would become the official position of the Vatican on his watch as pope. And now we have a clear answer to that question. It will not.

He has indicated that although the Vatican will not take an official position, they look positively upon Turkey's process towards E.U. membership. And I think that by itself, combined with his repeated efforts to stress dialogue and brotherhood and peace and reconciliation have left a lot of smiles on a lot of Turkish faces -- Anderson.

COOPER: You know, John, I think a lot of people maybe were expecting to kind of see a papal visit, as a lot of the people in the West who were watching, expected to see a papal visit like John Paul II, with huge crowds of people. This seems much more of a diplomatic mission in some ways. A lot of meetings behind closed doors, and he keeps talking about dialogue. What does "dialogue" really mean though? How much dialogue, how much understanding can there really be, because there are very strong differences between this pope and what he believes about Christianity and the Islamic faith.

ALLEN: Well, Anderson, yesterday in the papal plane, before he even left Roman air space, Benedict said that you need to understand that this trip is largely symbolic. And by that, I think, the importance from the Vatican's point of view of this trip was to send a series of signals to the Islamic world that Benedict XVI is serious about wanting good relations with Islam.

Now the hard work of defining what that dialogue is going to mean and concretely how it will be carried forward, obviously you are quite right, that remains to be worked out.

We understand that the Turkish Department of Religious Affairs has given Benedict a package, so to speak, of proposals about academic exchanges, dialogue, commissions and so on, and perhaps something will come out of that.

But I think from his point of view and also from the Turks' point of view, the cornerstone of this trip was to try to put the relationship back on track.

One other thing worth mentioning, Anderson, is that while you are quite right, there are serious doctrinal differences between Christianity and Islam, I think from Benedict's point of view, there are two areas of shared interests where they can work together.

One is in the defense of traditional moral values, things like the respect for the human person, the family, justice and peace.

The other, obviously, is that from Benedict's point of view, the fundamental clash of civilizations in this world is not between Islam and the West, it's between belief and unbelief, between those who take religion and God seriously and those who don't. And in that regard, I think he believes that Christians and Muslims are natural allies.

COOPER: In talking about a dialogue, is he also trying to get a dialogue within the Muslim world? A dialogue about violence and the role of violence? He spoke a little bit about the importance of all faiths to reject violence in spreading their faith. Does he hope to spark something of a reformation or at least a dialogue within the Muslim world? ALLEN: No, I think you just hit the nail on the head. I think, you know, he perceives himself to be a friend of Islam, trying to promote or reform from within. And that reform would center on two points. So, one is the need for a clear rejection of violence in the name of God. In other words, a clear rejection of terrorism. And the other is what the Vatican calls reciprocity, which essentially means religious freedom.

And the challenge there is for the 56 majority Muslim states in the world to provide the freedom for religious minorities within those countries to practice their faiths openly. Even here in Turkey, which is an officially secular state where religious freedom is enshrined in the constitution, that remains a challenge. The patriarch of Constantinople has not been able to educate its own clergy in its seminary on the island of Halkey (ph) since 1971 because that seminary has been closed by order of the Turkish government.

Now, those clearly are the cornerstones of the reform Benedict is trying to promote. Although, Anderson, I think it has to be said that to date, in the balance between trying to get the dialogue back on track, in pushing forward this agenda, the pope clearly has leaned in the direction of goodwill in sending signals of brotherhood. He has not pushed particularly hard on either of those two points. He did bring them up briefly in a meeting with diplomats last night, but that is all we've heard.

COOPER: We will see what we hear in the coming days. John Allen, appreciate your expertise. Thanks, John.

You know, it's hard to know how much good will Pope Benedict will earn by backing Turkey's bid to join the E.U. The gesture certainly seemed designed to be an olive branch of sorts.

But at the same time, Benedict has a reputation for being a blunt talker, who's willing to face the most difficult issues that still divide Islam and Christianity.

CNN's Delia Gallagher takes a look.


DELIA GALLAGHER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Pope Benedict XVI caused more than a stir when he quoted an obscure 14th century Byzantine emperor. It wasn't the first time he would speak so pointedly against Islam.

And in the months since that now famous speech and the fury that followed it, he may have issued an apology of sorts, but he hasn't backed away from his message.

Vatican watchers say that's not unexpected. It says a lot about the man who made the comments.

ALLEN: And I think if you read that 5,000 word speech in context, it's very clear, it's not really about Islam at all, it's about the relationship between reason and faith. But what is characteristic is that this is a very tightly-packed academic argument. And in that argument, he simply is not willing to observe the kind of P.C. taboos about things you are supposed to say and not say if he thinks it serves the point he wanted to make.

GALLAGHER: In his 1997 book, "Salt of the Earth," then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger wrote, "we must recognize that Islam is not a uniform thing. In fact, there is no single authority for all Muslims, and for this reason, dialogue with Islam is always dialogue with certain groups." He said those groups run the gamut from noble Islam to extremist terrorist Islam.

And in a meeting with Islamic representatives in 2005, he called on elders to teach their young tolerance and cooperation.

But he follows a pope who tried over and over again to befriend the Muslim community. And Benedict's tougher talk has some wondering if John Paul II's hard work may be destroyed by Benedict's hardline approach.

ALLEN: No question that Benedict the XVI, has a slightly tougher message on Islam than his predecessor, John Paul II. John Paul was the great -- the bridge builder with Muslims. He met with Muslims more than 60 times over the course of is pontificate. He was the first pope to go inside a mosque, which he did at the grand Umayyad Mosque in Damascus in 2001.

I think Benedict believes that now that those bridges have been built, it is time for us to walk over them.

GALLAGHER: In the immediate aftermath of that speech in September, protesters filled the streets. Effigies were burned. A nun and a priest were murdered. But Benedict hasn't backed down. He called a meeting in Rome of Muslim ambassadors and religious leaders, and apologized not for what he said, but that his remarks spurred a violent reaction.

The pope called for continuing dialogue with the Muslim community. But he insists that dialogue cannot take place unless the issues he spoke about in Regensburg become part of a meaningful discussion.

ALLEN: It's got to be more than tea and cookies. We've got to be able to actually talk out real issues. And certainly, the two issues above all that he wants to put on the table are violence and terrorism, and then also religious freedom.

GALLAGHER: Will Benedict's steadfast approach open that dialogue or will it burn the bridges built by his predecessor?

His reception on this historic visit to Turkey will go a long way in showing whether Muslims are ready to accept this outspoken pope as an ally.

Delia Gallagher, CNN, Istanbul, Turkey. (END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: The security in place for Pope Benedict's visit is massive, to say the least. More than 3,000 police officers and sharp shooters have been deployed. This trip was considered too dangerous for Benedict to actually even use the pope mobile, a Mercedes Benz SUV with a bulletproof glass cabin. Instead, Benedict is traveling around Turkey in an armored stretch Mercedes limousine with blacked out windows.

While Turkey is secular, pro-Western democracy religion infuses its government and its culture. More than 99 percent of the population is Muslim. Many are moderate in their beliefs, but there are growing concerns that radical Islam and al Qaeda are gaining a foothold here in Turkey. Take a look.


COOPER (voice-over): November 20, 2003, two suicide blasts, minutes apart, rock Istanbul. The targets, the British consulate and a London-based bank headquarters.

One week earlier, suicide attacks are launched against two Istanbul synagogues. In total, 52 people are killed, more than 400 wounded. The attacks had all the hallmarks and have been attributed to al Qaeda. Coordinated blasts, targeting symbols of the West and Israel, a sign to many that extremists in Turkey were on the rise. More than 50 suspects are now on trial for the bombings.

They fight for their beliefs, he says, and America and the West are fighting against Islam.

Osman Karahan (ph) is an attorney for some of the alleged terrorists. He, himself, has been suspected of aiding terrorists by the Turkish government, an accusation he denies. But he does believe suicide bombings are permitted by the Koran and insists Osama bin Laden is a freedom fighter.

All holy warriors are seen as freedom fighters, he says, and they're supported around the world.

Karahan (ph) follows a radical and undeniably extreme form of Islam. Any pictures of people in his office have post-it notes covering their faces.

When we talked, our translator, a woman, had to sit behind a screen so as not to be seen by Karahan (ph). Throughout the interview, he wore a pistol strapped to his waist.

He condemns any Muslim who doesn't agree with his interpretation of the Koran.

We believe that a Muslim who accepts a secular governing system becomes an unbeliever and stays in hell forever, he says. It's not acceptable for us. And also it's not enough to deny it. It's necessary to work for the creation of an Islamic state. It is not likely Turkey will become an Islamic state like Afghanistan under the Taliban. Support for a moderate form of Islam is strong here. And the economy is booming.

But according to Author and Professor Reza Aslan, there is cause for concern.

REZA ASLAN, AUTHOR AND PROFESSOR: If Turkey doesn't begin to really reconcile its relationship with Europe and if Europe doesn't do a better job of making Turkey feel like it has a role to play in the continent, then there is a fear that maybe five, six, seven years from now, we may be talking about a larger number of extremists, a larger group of jihadists here.


COOPER: Joining me now is Reza Aslan, of U.S.C.'s Center on Public Diplomacy and author of the book, "No god but God."

You know, when we talk about these extremists, these jihadis, we know what they're against. And they're very clear about talking about what they hate, what they oppose, what they're fighting against. What are they actually fighting for? I mean, do they actually have a program to run an actual government, to run a country?

ASLAN: Sort of. I mean, I think it makes sense that we are confused about what exactly it is that they want, because they don't really know what they want. And more importantly, we have to make sure not to think that jihadism or Islamism is one unified group that has one agenda.

COOPER: Right. There is a danger in painting all of this with a very broad brush, which many critics say we have been doing over the last couple of years.

ASLAN: We definitely have been doing it. You know, when we start lumping groups like Hezbollah and al Qaeda into a single group with a single ideology and a single agenda, we have already lost focus on who the enemy is, if you will.

Here in Turkey, I think what we can refer to as the Islamist or jihadist element is, as you say, a resistance group. Without something to resist against, they simply cease to exist. And currently what they are unified towards is this -- what they see as a rampant secularism that has really gotten out of control and that has really stifled their religious expression.

COOPER: One of the things that is also interesting, in painting with a very broad brush a lot of these groups, is that we kind of lose focus on the fact that a lot of these extremists, these Islamists, if we looked at actually what they want and we looked at what their criticism is, I mean, the majority of the Muslim world would be horrified by what they are actually proposing. Because they're in many ways anti-Muslim. It's not as if they are, you know, there's one monolithic Muslim community. There are all these different divisions and a lot of these Islamists hate other groups of Muslims. ASLAN: Oh, absolutely. They are not friends with each other. I mean, we forget al Qaeda, for instance, bin Laden has issued a death warrant for Nasrallah. So these guys aren't friends, first of all. And they all want vastly different things.

Some of them are deeply nationalistic, like Hamas. Some of them are deeply anti-nationalistic, like al Qaeda. And to think that somehow they represent the same group, I think is to suddenly get into the mistake of believing that they require a single response.

More importantly, what we need to do is treat these as different elements, each with a different need and a different way of approaching them. Some militarily, some politically, some diplomatically. And I think that would be a far better way of dealing with the rise of anti-Americanism and the surge of Jihadism that we are seeing.

COOPER: It's fascinating. You were in that interview when we were talking to that attorney, Karahan (ph). I mean, there's -- the ideology, it's very hard to reason with. I mean, in fact, it's virtually impossible to reason with because it defies reason. And one of the things he said is look, you just have to accept the Koran. You can't look for logic, you can't look for reason.

ASLAN: That, of course, is the definition of fundamentalism, is that human reason, human faculties have no role to play whatsoever in the interpretation of religion.

COOPER: So, I mean, suicide bombings, he can justify even though in the Koran it, you know, says women and children shouldn't be killed.

ASLAN: Yes, of course, this is the real problem with it, is when you say that interpretation has no role in the Koran, that reason has no role in the Koran. And then as you asked, well then what about the fact that the Koran says that suicide is a sin, oh, well, but it's not really suicide. Suddenly, reason comes in. Logic comes in. It's impossible to avoid.

I think for many of these groups, they look to religion. And this is true of Christians, Hindus, Jews, who have these kind of fundamentalist views. They look to religion as providing the template, the language with which they can express what is very difficult for them to express. What do you want? We want God's rule. What does that mean? It means the rule of God. They really have a hard time actually putting these things into words. And particularly in a successful country like Turkey, that has a large part to do with why they are marginalized.

COOPER: And certainly a good point to end on, that Turkey really has been able to reject Islamic fundamentalism up to this point. And these groups here in Turkey are very small indeed.

Reza, thanks. Appreciate it.

As we have seen in Turkey, al Qaeda may only be spreading very small right now. Here is the raw data. According to the Council on Foreign Relations, the terror network may have operatives in as many as 100 countries. Cells have been discovered in several nations, including the U.S., the U.K., Italy, Spain and France. The number of al Qaeda terrorists, of course, is hard to pin down, but some estimates say it's as low as several hundred and as high as several thousand.

From terror to faith, spreading the Christian word in a Muslim country. Coming up, how the pope hopes that Christians and others will benefit from his visit to Turkey.

In the Netherlands, a ban on wearing burqas will likely soon go into effect. The Dutch government says it is for the safety of its people. Muslims say their rights are being bulldozed. We'll let you decide.

Plus, a young man in New York City is dead at the hands of police officers -- 50 shots fired. The city is demanding answers. Is contagious shooting to blame? We'll explain what that means. It's like when gunfire spreads like the flu. CNN's Rick Sanchez takes us to a shooting range to explain how that happens, hen 360 continues.


COOPER: Some of the very small protests greeting the pope today in Ankara, Turkey. We will have much more from Turkey coming up, including a close look at the pope's mission and the religious leader he actually came here to meet.

But first, John Roberts has more news from New York -- John.

ROBERTS: Anderson, thanks.

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is engaged in a delicate dance this week, condemning the police shooting of an unarmed African- American man on the day of his wedding, while at the same time standing by his police chief. And tried to reassure the grieving family that the city is on the case.

Tonight, CNN brings you an exclusive interview with the victims' father.

Jason Carroll reports.


JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Controversy continues to surround the fatal police shooting of groom to be Sean Bell, killed by undercover officers who fired 50 shots in all.

Outraged community leaders put police on the defense, saying the officers used excessive force.

Through it all, William Bell can't stop thinking about the last time he spoke to his son, the night he was killed. WILLIAM BELL, VICTIM'S FATHER: I had just got through talking to him. Daddy, I love you. Then I said, OK, be home. I'll see you in a few minutes. Then the next thing I know, I get a phone call. He is gone.

CARROLL: The shooting touched a nerve in a city that has seen its share of high profile shootings.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg met with Bell's family, working to ease tensions.

BELL: You take my son's life and you can't say that it is justified. No kind of way justified. I don't think anybody with any feeling could say that it was justified.

CARROLL (on camera): What did the mayor say to you when you met with him today?

BELL: Well, that's personal. I am going to leave it like that. You know what I am saying.

CARROLL: All right. Well, without getting into specifics then, were you satisfied with what the mayor said to you.

BELL: Well, I -- I'll tell you this. I admire what he did.

CARROLL (voice-over): Bell says he has heard the charges of racial profiling of the five officers. Two are black, two Latino, and one white. He dismisses race as a motivation for the shooting, but he does say it was an abuse of power, one his son had always been fearful of.

BELL: My son was scared of police.

CARROLL: He was scared of them?

BELL: Of course he was.



BELL: He's always been scared of the police. Because of the danger -- you know, you see them standing on the corner some time. Stand there and harass kids.

CARROLL: A distrust of police is shared among many in New York's African-American and Latino communities, especially toward undercover officers.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's like the undercover task force, the detectives and things like that, those are the ones that jump out and harass people.

CARROLL: Police statistics show the number of NYPD shootings has decreased over the past decade by almost half. But according to the New York Civil Complaint Review Board, the number of excessive force complaints has increased by more than 60 percent over the past five years. Either way, the numbers just don't mean much to Bell's father.

BELL: These five, whoever they are, six or whatever it may be, killed my son. He is gone. No matter how you put it, he is still gone.

CARROLL: Jason Carroll, CNN, New York.


ROBERTS: The Queens district attorney is investigating the killing of Sean Bell, scrambling to come up with an answer to the question that the entire city is asking, how did trained undercover police officers lose control so quickly?

Here is CNN's Rick Sanchez.


RICK SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A contagious shooting, generally defined as an officer, caught up in the heat of the moment, firing off too many shots repeatedly and possibly unnecessarily. Did that happen in Queens last weekend?

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

MICHAEL BLOOMBERG, NEW YORK MAYOR: It is hard to understand why 50-odd shots should be taken. To me, that sounds excessive and unacceptable.

SANCHEZ: This latest police shooting is not a first for New York. In 1999, police shot at Amadeo Diallo (ph) 41 times. He was unarmed.

Experts say what the officers were likely shooting at was the ricochet of their own gunfire.

MIKE BROOKS, CNN SECURITY CONSULTANT: And they could think that the rounds are coming from inside, from the people inside, and they're still engaging them in gunfire when in fact it's coming from their own people.

SANCHEZ: CNN Security Consultant Mike Brooks is a former D.C. cop assigned to the FBI terrorism task force. He explains how training exercises like these teach weapons discipline.

New York police are trained to shoot, then stop and reassess before shooting again.

BROOKS: You are taught to shoot three rounds and re-evaluate the situation. This particular case, I think it's very unusual that an officer shot 31 times out of his own weapon.

BOB SIMMS, FIREARMS EXPERT: Bob's Custom Firearms. SANCHEZ: To learn more, we sought out a firearms expert. Bob Simms, who owns this gun shop, explains that the incidence of contagious shooting may have as much to do with the gun as with the officer shooting it.

This is what officers in New York and around the country used to use. It's a six shooter, a revolver.

SIMMS: The revolver, of course, has six chambers in the cylinder. And that one round, of course, per chamber. And he is limited to six shots before he's out.

SANCHEZ: But now let's see how it compares to a .009 millimeter high capacity semi-automatic weapon, used by New York police.

(On camera): So it's possible that an officer could use this Glock and get off 31 rounds in less than 30 seconds?

SIMMS: Oh, yes. Oh, yes, quite possible.

SANCHEZ: Can you show us?


SANCHEZ: All right. I've got a stopwatch. Let's see how you do it. I will start it at your first round.


SANCHEZ: All right, Bob, take it away.


SANCHEZ: You just emptied two magazines in 24 seconds. So the high capacity gun gives the law enforcement official the ability to get off a lot more rounds?

SIMMS: That's right.

SANCHEZ: In a lot less time.

SIMMS: In a lot less time.

SANCHEZ: High capacity semi-automatic pistols were introduced to police in the 1990s to keep them from being outgunned by criminals. But now experts say those same guns, in a crisis, could make it more possible for an officer to become a contagious shooter.

Rick Sanchez, CNN, Palmetto, Georgia.


ROBERTS: And he looked like he was carefully considering each and every shot, too.

Another controversial police shooting. An 88-year-old woman killed during a drug raid in Atlanta. Contradictions and accusations, coming up. Why there are still more questions than answers about what really happened.

And Pope Benedict will meet with his orthodox counterpart Bartholomew I. Will the meeting ease the bridge between -- at least will the meeting bridge the gaps between faiths?

That and more when 360 continues.


ROBERTS: A week after the fatal shooting of an 88-year-old woman by police in Atlanta, there are even more questions about what really happened.

Who led officers to the woman's home is the subject of fierce debate, even within the police department.

Here is CNN's Rusty Dornin with that.


RUSTY DORNIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Kathryn Johnston was buried today, one week after she was shot dead in a police raid.

As family and friends mourned her, they were still asking, who's lying about what happened that day?

We know this much. When police burst through Johnston's door, she fired a gun, injuring officers. They returned fire, killing her.

But why did police raid the home of an elderly woman? They had told a judge an informant had bought drugs at the house earlier that same day, so they were granted a search warrant, but that informant says no way.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I never went in the house. The police can't make me say I went in the house.

DORNIN: And there are more contradictions and questions. The day after Johnston was killed, Assistant Police Chief Alan Dreher suggested it was an officer who bought drugs at that address.

ALAN DREHER, ASSISTANT CHIEF, ATLANTA POLICE DEPARTMENT: An undercover went through, purchased narcotics.

DORNIN: Six days after the shooting, Atlanta's police chief says it was not an officer after all.

CHIEF RICHARD PENNINGTON, ATLANTA POLICE DEPARTMENT: Our narcotics officers sent a confidential informant into a house. That person purchased drugs.

DORNIN: Dreher had also spoken of another suspect.

DREHER: There was an individual that was arrested at an earlier incident not related to this particular address right here.

DORNIN: Another search warrant, issued after Johnston was killed, states another suspect was taken into custody inside the residence. So who was it?

PENNINGTON: I can't comment on that right now.

DORNIN: And why was there a no-knock warrant issued, allowing police to enter the house without warning?

Narcotics officers had claimed in the affidavit their informant had warned that there were surveillance cameras at Johnston's house. But now police refuse to say whether they found any cameras.

All seven narcotics officers in the unit have been placed on paid leave.

PENNINGTON: The officers are saying one thing, the confidential informant is saying something else. And we don't know that and that is why I have asked for an independent review.

DORNIN: A review directed by the FBI and Georgia state investigators.

Outside Kathryn Johnston's funeral, many expressed distrust of the police.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: From the very beginning I knew Ms. Johnston wasn't a part of this. And I just feel real bad that we can't trust the police to do the right thing.

DORNIN: But also confusion.

JOANNA TREDWICK, FAMILY FRIEND: If there is an informant that is coming out now, I hope that he is telling the truth. I really do.

DORNIN (on camera): Many in Johnston's neighborhood are angry, bewildered and saddened by what has happened here. But some are united by the hope that with outside investigators, justice in this case will be done.

Rusty Dornin, CNN, Atlanta.


ROBERTS: Now let's go back to Anderson Cooper. He's live in Turkey tonight -- Anderson.

COOPER: John, thanks very much.

Coming up, we're going to be looking at one of the big issues that Pope John Paul -- Pope Benedict is expected to talk about. Pope John Paul II also talked about it. Reciprocity. Why in Christian countries Muslims can build mosques, but sometimes in Muslim countries Christians cannot build a new church, like in Saudi Arabia. It's one of the things Pope Benedict expects to address here in Turkey. We will take a look at that.

Also, the man, the Christian leader that Pope Benedict is expected to meet with and what he wants to change here in Turkey. Stay tuned.



COOPER (voice-over): Pope Benedict XVI says he's anxious to open a dialogue with the followers of Islam, but he says those talks must include one very important topic, what the Vatican calls reciprocity.

ALLEN: The idea is that religious minorities in majority Muslim states ought to get the same rights and same freedoms that religious minorities, including Muslims, get in the West.

COOPER: Before he became Pope Benedict, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger spent 24 years as the Vatican's tough theological enforcer, the man who interpreted the rules by which Catholicism could operate.

Even then, his relationship with the Muslim community was seen as contentious, in part because of his insistence on reciprocity.

The concept comes down to this: If you can build a mosque in any non-Muslim nation, why can't you build a Christian church, or a Jewish synagogue, for that matter, in a mostly Muslim country?

In the 1990s, the Saudi government kicked in the bulk of $25 million raised to build the biggest mosque in Europe. It was built in the Catholic enclave of Rome, with the encouragement of Benedict's predecessor, Pope John Paul II. Benedict believes it's now time for fair play.

ALLEN: Christians in Saudi Arabia ought to be able to build churches. They ought to be able to import bibles and catechisms. They ought to be able to celebrate their faith openly, all of which is presently prohibited by Saudi law.

COOPER: Benedict insists reciprocity would benefit Muslims, as well as Christians, as some Muslim sects suffer discrimination at the hands of Islamic governments headed by members of rival sects.

ALLEN: In Saudi Arabia, of course, it's non-Wahabi forms of Islam that can't be celebrated. In Iran, often it is Sunni Islam that struggles, and on and on. So, the point, basically, is to press Islamic governments to recognize pluralism, and to recognize the right of people to believe and to celebrate their creed as they choose.

COOPER: But many Muslims would say, it's not the pope's place to define the rules of their religion.

ASLAN: What the pope is talking about when he talks about reciprocity, is that there needs to be far greater emphasis on religious rights in some Muslim countries. But to make the kind of generalization that somehow the Islamic world doesn't allow the propagation of Christianity or the construction of Christian churches or Jewish synagogues is just simply incorrect.

ALLEN: This is about recognizing the inherent dignity of each and every human person to believe and to worship as he or she sees fit.

COOPER: A point that may prove to be a hard sell in this country where the secular government leads a population that's some 99 percent Muslim.


COOPER (on camera): Well, tomorrow the pope is expected to meet his counterpart in the Orthodox Christian church. Their task, of course, is a man's trying to undo literally centuries of tension. And for the man known as the first among equals, that may be the easy part.


COOPER (voice-over): The pope is here in part to reconcile 1,000-year-old divide, not between the Catholic church and Islam, but between two branches of Christianity, an historic opportunity, but for one religious leader in Turkey, a necessity. His seminary closed, his church buildings seized. And angry protests with a figure of him burned in effigy.

He is Bartholomew I, the ecumenical patriarch of the Orthodox Church. In 1054, in what's known as the great schism, the orthodoxy and the Roman Catholic church split.

Today, outside Turkey, his followers number more than 250 million. Inside this country, his faithful are few.

ASLAN: I think Bartholomew is in a difficult spot right now, because he is presiding over a rapidly diminishing religious community and one that has historically maintained a distance from Rome.

COOPER: Bartholomew holds many honors. Among them, the U.S. Congressional gold medal.

BARTHOLOMEW I, ECUMENICAL PATRIARCH: It is no wonder that all sort of Christian peoples from the world over have found a welcome reception and secure haven in these United States, especially when you consider the persecution endured in this century.

COOPER: There are some that may say Bartholomew and an Orthodox community with deep roots in Turkey have been persecuted.

To the government, his church has no legal status, which means it cannot own property, cannot teach new priests. Even the church's cemeteries have been reclaimed by the state.

ASLAN: I think that the tensions between that ancientness and what is, you know, very deeply Muslim modern Turkey, sometimes does bubble up to the surface in acts of violence, in acts of bias and prejudice. COOPER: These modern-day challenges come at a time of great hope for the Orthodox church and the Vatican. Benedict and Bartholomew are trying to mend a millennium of differences, two ancient religions reaching out to one another.

ASLAN: I think that both Rome and Istanbul are very much ready to bridge this gap between them. And I think that Bartholomew's hopes in reconciling those differences and uniting as one single community of Catholics is very much in line with the pope's view.

COOPER: While Benedict and Bartholomew move toward reconciliation, the question is, can the same be said for Bartholomew and his country?

Anderson Cooper, CNN, Istanbul.


COOPER (on camera): Well, coming up, we will have more insight from Reza Aslan and Delia Gallagher on the pope's visit to Turkey and whether it's a sign that Benedict is becoming more conciliatory to Muslims.

Plus, religious conflict in Western Europe, the complicated issues being raised by a potential burqa ban in the Netherlands. Is the burqa a sign of oppression for women or a standard for a religious self-expression? When this special edition of 360, "When Faiths Collide," continues.



Opinions on Banning Muslim Headscarves

Turkey, United States

Bad Idea: 64 percent, 57 percent Good Idea: 29 percent, 33 percent


COOPER: A ban on headscarves. A majority of Turkish people say it is a bad idea, but in the Netherlands a ban on burqas is in the works. A country known for its liberal views, taking a much a different path.

CNN's Paula Newton explains why.


PAULA NEWTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Amsterdam, Poland, one of the most liberal cities in the world, where anything goes. Except when it comes to the all covering veil worn by fewer than 100 Muslim women in the entire country. A ban on the burqa here could be passed in a matter of weeks. GEERT WILDERS, ANTI-ISLAM CAMPAIGNER: It is a medieval symbol of a worst culture ever. And once again, it's a sign about how not to treat women, women as second-class beings.

NEWTON: Last June half of the people questioned in a Dutch poll said they disliked Muslims.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ban it all. No burqa.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Because we live in the Netherlands.

NEWTON: With their own online petition, Aisha Bayrak is fighting the ban and the stereotype she says that go with it.

AISHA BAYRAK, CONVERT TO ISLAM: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) and I don't have an abusive husband.

NEWTON: She was born in Holland and converted to Islam when she married more than 20 years ago. Now a mother of five, she says she feels like an outcast in her own country.

BAYRAK: You can say that one culture is the dominant culture. You can say something that we are the dominant culture, and we can put our finger in your face and say you must do this or you must do that.

NEWTON: There is at best a religious truce here now since the gruesome murder of filmmaker Theo Van Gogh. Two years ago he was shot by a 26-year-old Muslim man who wanted to silence one of the country's most vocal critics of Islam. He slit Van Gogh's throat with a crude machete.

(On camera): The murder here was so callous, the crime so calculated that it forced many in this country to ask themselves where have we gone wrong? Is immigration really undermining our liberal values?

(Voice-over): One of Van Gogh's friends says the burqa ban is a protest of sorts.

GIJS VAN WESTERLAKEN, FRIEND OF THEO VAN GOGH: This undercurrent is a rather dangerous one too, I guess. The country still hasn't come to terms with it. It's turned and it is a volatile electorate and dangerous even, I guess.

NEWTON: And the mayor of once tolerant Amsterdam is calling for calm.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There is more tension in the city, tension between different groups, between different cultures. Discuss it and realize that this religion is now, whether you like it or not, is part of our society.

NEWTON: Banning the burqa would be a sign that even one of the world's most tolerant countries has to struggle to maintain religious harmony.

Paula Newton, CNN, Amsterdam.


COOPER: Reza Aslan and Delia Gallagher join me to take the pulse of the pope's first day in Turkey. That, coming up.

And protesters, for the most part, staying away, but so did the crowds. They did this pope -- well, maybe a lack of the rock star status of his predecessor. We will talk about that when 360 continues.



Turkish Opinions on the U.S.-led War on Terror

Support, Oppose

2004: 37 percent, 56 percent 2006: 14 percent, 77 percent


COOPER: And we are joined again by CNN's Faith and Values Correspondent Delia Gallagher and Reza Aslan, of U.S.C. Center on Diplomacy and also the author of "No god but God."

If the pope's mission today on this first day of his trip was to move beyond the comments of two months ago and to sort of try to move forward with the Islamic world, how do you think he did??

ASLAN: I think he has done a very good job. In fact, I think he did all the right things. He said all the right things. He made a very dramatic about face with regard to Turkey's entrance into the E.U. And of course, certainly he doesn't get to decide whether Turkey joins the E.U. or not, but his influence is such that if he supports it, then you're going to see far more support, particularly in his home support of Germany which is a real problem for Turkey.

COOPER: What happens on Wednesday? What happens on Thursday with this pope?

GALLAGHER: Well, now he starts the sort of Christian unity phase of the trip, which was the original reason for coming. And, you know, Turkey has such a rich history for Christians, that he's going to go and visit some of the places down in Ephesus where the Virgin Mary is said to have lived after the Jesus' crucifixion. There's a house there. He's going to visit that.

He's going to meet with the patriarch, the Orthodox patriarch, which, you know, has caused some tensions also here in Turkey, but it's very important for Catholic Orthodox unity and relations. So this starts the phase of Christian... (CROSSTALK)

COOPER: And, you know, that really gets to the notion of reciprocity. That's one of the things he's going to be talking about most likely. Although, how much he actually says about it is another question.

GALLAGHER: Well, the interesting thing is that he's really, I think, already said the most important thing, which was today, because the reciprocity issue about, you know, letting Christians build churches and practice their faith and have their seminary which is a big issue for the Orthodox. He said today in a quick phrase about religious freedom, a kind of general way in that speech to the politicians, because that is who he wants to talk to about that.

So I think that, you know, the Orthodox was hoping for that and they got that. But they got it in a speech which was very much geared towards the positive message that the pope wanted to give.

COOPER: He's also going to be visiting the Blue Mosque here in Istanbul on Thursday. So likely, again still part of this mission, reaching out to the Muslim world?

ASLAN: Well, maybe he's got himself a new P.R. agent or something because I think literally walking in the footsteps of his predecessor and trying to do the symbolic acts that are so important in a place like Turkey, and really in the Muslim world in general, I think that's the way forward for this pope.

We're going to hopefully see this trip one day as the beginning of a new relationship between the Vatican and the Muslim world.

COOPER: We'll be covering it all.

Reza Aslan, thanks very much.

Delia Gallagher, thanks as well. Delia is going to be staying here. Reza and I are going to be going to Amman, where we'll be covering President Bush tomorrow. We'll have a lot more from Jordan. We'll have more here from Istanbul in a moment. Stay with us.


COOPER: John Roberts joins us now with a 360 news and business bulletin -- John.

ROBERTS: Anderson, thanks very much.

Two men have been charged in Houston with plotting to support the Taliban. One is a U.S. citizen, the other is a Pakistani national. Both face conspiracy and firearms charges. Federal prosecutors said the pair had trained with guns and raised $350 for terrorist groups.

Energy stocks took Wall Street on an upward ride today. The price of crude oil rose 1 percent on forecasts of cooler weather. The Dow Jones gained just over 14 points. The S&P rose nearly five points. The NASDAQ closed up nearly seven.

The federal reserve chairman did not have encouraging words for the economy today. Ben Bernanke said the housing slump was worse than expected. The median price of an existing house dropped by a record amount last month. And other economic indicators were downbeat. Bernanke also suggested that inflation, which has been slowing because of lower gasoline prices, could flair up again.

And a federal judge has ruled that the U.S. Treasury is discriminating against the blind by issuing paper money that has the same size and feel to it. The judge has ordered the Treasury to come up with a way to tell different dollar amounts apart. The judge gave the Treasury 30 days to come up with it. The Treasury Department isn't commenting on the ruling so far.

And Anderson, here is a question for you, how long has this sized money been in circulation in the United States?

COOPER: Hmm. That is a good question. I have no idea. How long?

ROBERTS: July 10, 1929.

COOPER: Hmm. Was it bigger or smaller before?

ROBERTS: It was a little bit bigger before, and they've cut down the size to save money of all things and because they thought that it was a little easier to handle.


ROBERTS: Have a safe trip to Amman tomorrow.

COOPER: There you go. Interesting, John. All right, thanks very much.

Yes, coming up tomorrow on the heels of the NATO summit, President Bush is heading to Amman, Jordan, to meet with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. CNN, of course, is going to be there.

Coverage begins at 6:00 a.m., Eastern, on "AMERICAN MORNING," with Miles O'Brien and Soledad O'Brien.

I'll be flying over there as well. We'll have a full coverage tomorrow night on 360 and all, really, throughout the day on CNN. Hope you join us for that.

Thanks very much for watching this coverage from Istanbul, Turkey. We'll also have a lot more on the pope's visit here to Ephesus tomorrow, and of course to Istanbul as well. Stay tuned for all of that. See you tomorrow.


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