Friday, September 15, 2006

Don't Quote Me On That ...

Muslim leaders have accused the Pope of attacking the Islamic faith after a speech earlier this week in which Benedict XVI referred to the concept of jihad, or holy war.

In his address at the University of Regensberg in Germany on Tuesday, Benedict quoted from a book recounting a dialogue on the truths of Christianity and Islam between Manuel Paleologos II, a 14th century Byzantine Christian Emperor, and an educated Persian.

"The emperor comes to speak about the issue of jihad, holy war," the Pope said.

"He said, I quote, ‘Show me just what Mohammed 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’."

Apparently aware of the delicacy of the issue, Benedict described the phrases on Islam as "brusque", and pointed out several times that he was quoting - although he neither explicitly agreed with nor repudiated the emperor's views.

"Violence is incompatible with the nature of God and the nature of the soul," the pontiff said.

But in the Islamic world this has been taken to indicate that the Pope straightforwardly endorsed Manuel Paleologos's views.

Some people are just waiting to be offended.

A statement issued by the Vatican last night to clarify what was meant and to apologise for causing offence appears only to have made things worse.

Because this isn't about peaceful co-existence. This is about imposing one's will on the spiritual enemy. In fact, the greater the apology, the less likely it is to be accepted - because it's taken as a sign of weakness, to be exploited further.

No religion has been mocked and vilified more in the last 40 years than Christianity. And it continues - because the consequences don't involve bodies with knives pinning notes to their chests, decapitation, explosions, burning buildings or trains.

Faced with such things, Western society retreats, draws back, self-censors - engendering a sense among the bad hats (and among those who share the aim even while having reservations about the method) that there is no limit to the retreat - no ground on which the enemy will turn, stand and fight.

They may well be right.


Anonymous said...

The Pope says that jihad violence is against God's nature, and officials fear that in response, Muslims enraged by this insult will commit...jihad violence.

When will non-Islamcs demand apologies from Muslim nations for offences to their religions???

Anonymous said...

"Anyone who describes Islam as a religion as intolerant encourages violence" Pakistan's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Tasnim Aslam said.

Beyond parody.

Anonymous said...

I am not Catholic, but I think the Pope knows exactly what he is doing. I am most grateful to him.

This is exactly how to get the better of these primitives. Very powerful people speaking out unapologetically. A period of intense silence from Tony Blair and the even worse David Cameron would be much appreciate while an adult is speaking.

Anonymous said...

Pope Rage alert: It's begun. Burning readily available effigies of Pope Benedict in Srinagar in the state of Kashmir, for example. And the "British" muslims are gearing up - I'm sure getting their posters printed up and organising hate fests on the streets of London.

Woo-hooo! How many islamics died in Motoon Rage? Forty-seven, if I remember correctly, and I probably do. Not one normal person died, but 47 protesting islamics kicked off.

Anonymous said...

If the Pope turned round and told them to "F*ck off you miserable sods" I'd convert to Catholicism tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

I support the creepy Pope Benedict on this one.

BTW, my pater, ex-FO, always said, "The UK cannot trust Roman Catholics until they treat their religion a la carte, like the rest of us." He was deeply suspicious of any minority who owed allegiance to a foreign head of state on faith and morals.

jbd said...

The article that is reached through your closing prompt: "They may well be right" is one of the best I've read on the subject of the "world versus Islam." Non-Muslims have an urgent need to understand far more about Islam--not because we must "understand our enemies" but because we cannot avoid a nuclear war unless enough of us get wiser about the God that "believers" have always fought about!