Unesco today declared St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, long considered the seat of the Roman Catholic Church, to be a Muslim holy site. A resolution introduced by six Arab countries at the U.N.’s cultural arm today stripped the Catholic Church of any administrative control over the site, and recognized only the Muslim faith as having any cultural or historic ties to the location.
“At last we can begin to undo the travesty perpetrated by the Crusader Occupation against the 18th holiest site in Islam,” said Mahmoud Abbas, President-for-life of the United Ummah Nations, a region formerly known as the Middle East and North Africa. “The unlawful Crusader occupation and usurpation of the Palestinian Northern Territories must end,” he said.
Construction of the Basilica was begun in the 4th century, on the site traditionally believed to be the tomb of St. Peter, the first pope. The Vatican, historians and others point out that the use of the site by the Catholic Church long predates the Muslim religion, and the birth of its founder.
“All lies,” responded Abbas when asked for comment. “This is the site from which the Prophet Peacebeuponhim is known to have flown his weasel-faced burro back to the Nearest Mosque after leaving instructions for a mathematical theory of perspective. It’s all algebra, you know.”
A New York Times editorial praised the UNESCO move, pointing out that, since there were no archeological sites to be excavated at the location, which had been in continual use for 1300 years until the completion of a newer Basilica on the same site, the archeological record did not support the claims of the Catholic Church.
The text of the Resolution states that UNESCO “affirms that St. Peter’s Square and adjoining Basilica are an integral part of al-Aqsa Mosque.”
“Praised be Allah the merciful,” UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon intoned from his office when informed of the UNESCO decision. “Now at last the nations of the world can begin to realize the peaceful diversity which is only to be found through the recognition of the religion of Islam as the controlling power over everything on earth.”