Muslims Now More Populous Than Catholics News worth an honorable mention, including a historic announcement from the Vatican.
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Muslims Now More Populous Than Catholics

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Muslims Now More Populous Than Catholics

Muslims Now More Populous Than Catholics

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ALISON STEWART, Host:

Hey, welcome back to the Bryant Park Project from NPR News, online all of the time at npr.org/bryantpark. It's that time for all the news you can't beat with a steel showerhead stuffed in a sock. Details on that in a minute. This is The Ramble.

RACHEL MARTIN, Host:

The subgroup is characterized as skinny kids in black eyeliner and tight jeans, black dyed hair hanging over their eyes, and earlier this month, hundreds of people in a town north of Mexico City ganged up on these kids and beat them up, cheering and shouting horrible things. Kill the emos...

STEWART: Oh, my.

MARTIN: This is really awful. The attack had been organized on the Internet. Cell phone videos of the beating showed up online. A week later, these kids were harassed in Mexico City itself, and the police came out to protect them. Members of other music-based subcultures known as metal heads and punks are among those blamed for these attacks on these emo kids.

STEWART: Wait. So, the metal heads and the punks...

MARTIN: Are ganging up on the emo kids. Yeah, that's what happened. Some say the anti-emo sentiment in Mexico is anti-homosexual, as emo is often identified with homosexuality. But now the emo kids are standing up for themselves. They're fighting back.

STEWART: It's just music, everybody.

MARTIN: I know, just - make love not war.

STEWART: As the mayor of Seoul from '02 to '04, he donated his salary to children of street cleaners and firefighters, so this is something he's done before. And during his campaign he pledged to donate his entire personal fortune of 30.2 million dollars to the poor, saying he would only keep a retirement house. Now, that pledge has yet to be delivered, but a presidential official says, quote, "We believe he will keep his promise."

MARTIN: That's a big promise, but very heartfelt. A Vatican newspaper said yesterday that Islam has passed Roman Catholicism as the world's largest religion. Now, personally, I don't know if this is really new, but it's new that the Vatican is saying it.

STEWART: OK.

MARTIN: Monsignor Vittorio Formenti was quoted as saying, "For the first time in history, we are no longer the top. Muslims have overtaken us." This is obviously a statement that seems to be imbued with a little bit of inflammatory language there. Catholics account for 17.4 percent of the world's population, while Muslims are more than 19 percent of the total. That's according to Formenti.

STEWART: That's according to him.

MARTIN: He said the number of Catholics stayed relatively stable while the Muslim percentage was growing due to higher birthrates.

STEWART: All right, so he's saying that they're breeding? Is that his sort of suggestion?

MARTIN: He seems to be suggesting that Muslims are reproducing at a higher rate.

STEWART: Hm...

MARTIN: Again, we have nothing to back this up. This is just what the Catholics are saying, and clearly, this comes from within the context of - there's been some dissension between the Catholic leadership, and Pope Benedict made some inflammatory remarks about - that were linked to some kind of ancient Islamic text that he said was violent. It's catapulted them to this big standoff, but they're trying to build a bridge. They are having a big summit this year, Catholic leaders and Muslim leaders, so they are trying to make friends, but this is...

STEWART: Maybe you shouldn't say that at that...

MARTIN: Controversial.

STEWART: Building thing. All right. This story is from a local newspaper up near where I spend weekends sometimes. Peace, love, Woodstock, right? Next town over, town or two over, little different vibe.

MARTIN: Little bit rougher.

STEWART: According to police, you know what Johnson did? Stuffed a steel showerhead in a sock, then she used that to club Soto when Soto approached her in the parking lot of the ShopRite. They were both charged with second-degree assault, a felony, and a misdemeanor fourth degree criminal possession of a weapon. The weapon again, a steel showerhead in a stuffed sock.

MARTIN: I love that she thought so far as to say, I'm going to put it in the sock because then I can swing it around.

STEWART: Exactly! Like a club.

MARTIN: I can make it an even more devastating instrument.

STEWART: And ladies, there is a large correctional facility in Ellenville, so just letting you know that, next time you decide to put a showerhead in a sock. Hey, that's your Ramble. These stories and more on our website npr.org/bryantpark.

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