One year ago, Pope Benedict XVI inflamed the Muslim world by quoting a Byzantine emperor from 1391 as saying: "Show me just what Muhammad brought that was new and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached."
The Muslim reaction was, predictably, violence, with at least two killed and many more cases or arson and threats.
Now, the Saudi king has visited the Pope discussing "peace, justice and moral values." And the King didn't come empty-handed - he gave the Pope "a traditional Middle Eastern gift — a golden sword studded with jewels."
The King, representing Islam as the "Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, " certainly showed his esteem for the Pope and for his calls for peace - by giving him a weapon.