With Saint Patrick's Day approaching, I recently watched Shergar, a TV film loosely based on the 1983 kidnapping of an exceptional Irish Thoroughbred racehorse. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shergar
I was naturally intrigued by the circumstances of the event that inspired the filmmaker's creative imagination and found out that Shergar was owned by Aga Khan and a syndicate of 34 co-owners. According to the dominant theory, he was kidnapped for ransom by the Provisional IRA gunmen to raise funds for the IRA operations but, used to extortions and worried about future attempts by the IRA (and other terrorist organizations?) to kidnap more racehorses, Aga Khan refused to pay the £2 million ransom. Shergar, perhaps the greatest racehorse of all time and the European Horse of the Year 1981, was never recovered and the whereabouts of his remains is still unknown. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-21316921
Aga Khan IV, it turns out, as a hereditary (49th) Imam of Nizari Ismailis http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ismailism , spoke in a 2006 Spiegel interview of Pope Benedict's unfortunate public statements against the Prophet Mohammed.
Immediately following the January 2011 suicide bombing at a church in Alexandria, Pope Benedict's strong criticisms of Islam undermined his intent to protect the Christian minority in the Arab world when Al-Azhar, the highest authority of Sunni Islam in Cairo, responded by severing dialogue with the Vatican. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-21449921
Within this context, Pope Francis I who just replaced Pope Benedict XVI can be the catalyst for a new dialogue and better relations with Islam. http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2013/03/13/174222485/who-is-pope-fra...