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Vatican Putting Out Feelers For How Public Would React To Another Children’s Crusade

VATICAN CITY—Saying they had been giving some thought recently to the idea of sending legions of Christian boys and girls to retake the Holy Land and wanted to gauge the level of support, Vatican officials reportedly began putting out feelers Wednesday to determine how the public might react to another Children’s Crusade, much as was attempted in the year 1212.

John Kerry Scrambles To Stop Bunker’s Self-Destruct Sequence As Russian Oligarch Taunts Him From Bank Of Monitors

BOGDARNYA, RUSSIA—Working frantically to gain access to the system’s override settings at the computer terminal controlling the impending implosion, Secretary of State John Kerry scrambled to stop the self-destruct sequence of an underground bunker located thousands of feet below the Russian countryside Tuesday while oligarch Dmitry Granovsky taunted him from the numerous banks of monitors positioned throughout the facility, sources confirmed.

Islamic Awakening Inspires Man To Defect From ISIS

MOSUL, IRAQ—Telling reporters he had renounced his role as a militant and would soon be relocating in order to seek out an environment more conducive to fully devoting himself to his newfound religious faith, 24-year-old Huzaifa Quraishi confirmed Tuesday his recent Islamic awakening had inspired him to defect from ISIS.

CIA Orchestrates Coup D’État To Replace Entire Population Of Venezuela

Agency Installs Pro-American Populace Of 30 Million Venezuelan Citizens

CARACAS, VENEZUELA—Sources are confirming that the Central Intelligence Agency has orchestrated a coup d’état in the South American nation of Venezuela, toppling the country’s 30 million residents and replacing them with an entirely new, pro-American populace.

A Primer On North Korea

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea remains largely unknown to Americans due mainly to the secrecy and isolationism upheld by its government. The Onion provides a primer on North Korea’s people and culture

‘People Are Inherently Good,’ World Halfheartedly Mutters

NICE, FRANCE—Following yesterday’s terrorist attack in Nice, France that left over 80 people dead and scores more injured, sources reported that a dazed and utterly dejected global populace halfheartedly muttered the phrase “People are inherently good” to themselves Friday.

Louvre Curators Hurry To Display Ugly Van Gogh Donor Gave Them Before Surprise Visit

PARIS—After retrieving the eyesore from amid a clutter of unused display cases and movable stanchions in the back of the facility’s basement where it had been stowed ever since the museum received it, curators at the Louvre hurried to display an ugly Vincent van Gogh painting before the artwork’s donor made a surprise visit to the museum Friday.
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Muslims To Boycott All Pope Merchandise

KARACHI, PAKISTAN—In what appears to be the latest sign of a widening gulf between the Muslim world and the West, Islamic leaders upset over Pope Benedict XIV's recent controversial remarks about the nature of their religion are urging the Muslim faithful to boycott any and all products bearing the Pope's seal of approval.

Sheikh Othman Malik led a demonstration in Karachi Monday.

"We are sending a message to Rome that they cannot insult the prophet, may Allah's blessings be upon him, and if they do, we will close our hearts and our pocketbooks to their extensive line of retail products," said Pakistani cleric Sheikh Othman Malik, who spoke to an estimated crowd of 10,000 in downtown Karachi Monday. "Our only recourse is to refuse to buy anything—be it candles, incense, Pope Oaties breakfast cereal, Popeshine shampoo, or Craftspope-brand power tools—and, by destroying consumer confidence, bring the worshipper of the cross and all his subsidiaries to their knees."

Added Malik, "We must remind everyone that it is the oppressed buyer who makes the Roman Catholic Church the second-largest manufacturer of consumer goods in the world."

Although the Karachi protest was mostly peaceful, a downtown Stop N' Pope grocery store's windows were smashed, and in the northwest suburbs a fiberglass statue of the Mitre Man mascot was reportedly seized from a Vatican Tires outlet and set ablaze.

ValuPope Super Centers are bracing for the boycott spearheaded by Sheikh Othman Malik.

"We will not rest," said protester Ibrahim Meghwar, standing behind a burning pile of Pople magazines. "Not in our La-Z-Pope reclining chairs or even in our Popesturepedic beds!"

Despite the Pope's record earnings of $42 billion in sales in 2005, an effective and well-coordinated Muslim boycott could spell trouble for the Vatican City–based domestic-products giant and religion. Although the majority of its customers are Christian, a growing 19 percent are Muslim.

"There's no question about the Church's solvency, but a concerted effort by this important retail base could significantly affect the Vatican's yearly outlook," Goldman-Sachs retail analyst Jennifer Blaisdell said. "If it happens, Pope Benedict is going to have to answer to the Cardinals in the boardroom."

"A boycott will mean great sacrifice," Cairo protester Zahoor Ismail said. "My wife will have to buy our children's back-to-madrasah clothing from somewhere besides ValuPope, and we will put off buying that PopeScan 30-inch TV we've been saving up for. But as devout Muslims, it is our duty to reject these material goods and turn inward, to our own righteous manufacturers of affordable, quality products."

<b>"We will rain down death and destroy profits wherever the infidel is found, from the rivers of Diet Papal Cola to the mountains of Pope-Tarts."</b> <p>Sheikh Hashim Abu al-Khoei </p>

While the Vatican would remain strong in the Western processed-food market with its popular Pope-Ums sliced-mackerel sandwich fixings and Dios Mio Frozen Enchilada Dinners, a boycott could all but shut down the Church's Levantine Foods division, which produces the popular Jiffy-Pope Microwave Falafel Mix, currently a top seller throughout the Arab world.

In addition, PVC pipe, aluminum siding, and fiberglass insulation produced by the Church's building-materials arm, PopeDepot Inc., could also face the threat of drastically reduced sales in Muslim countries.

Some Muslims, however, are reluctant to join such a sweeping boycott. "I am a Muslim warrior, and I will gladly take to the streets in wrathful indignation," Malaysian-born Montreal resident Ridhuan Amir said. "But papal products mean higher quality. He may be the great infidel, but the fact is, he makes the best odor-absorbing scoopable cat litter on the market."

Hoping to quell the crisis, the Vatican released a statement expressing regret over the Pope's remarks and reaffirmed his respect for the Islamic faith in his goods, announcing plans to offer its own line of long-burning Li'l Benedict effigy dolls, with prices starting at $39.95.

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