Saturday, September 16, 2006

Pope Benedict & Muslim Denial

HOLY DENIAL: Muslim utes in India burn effigy of da pope.
I am no fan of Pope Benedict XVI or the Roman Catholic Church, but he spoke an undeniable truth the other day when he addressed the "evil and inhuman" elements of Islam in a speech in Germany. (I only hope that Oriana Fallaci was able to hear the prelate's words before she left this mortal coil.)

It is the leaders of Islam whoare in denial as is evident from the angry reactions from Britain to Iraq to Indonesia. The New York Times, among other media outlets, is bent out of shape, too, saying that Benedict was "sewing pain." Yes, the truth hurts.

What is it that Muslim leaders don't get?
I know of no other religion today where its most fanatical adherents are on a holy crusade to kill you and I and our children.

I know of no other religion today whose holy book sanctions violence in the advancement of its own faith.

I know of no other religion today where adherents who choose to renounce their faith are subject to officially sanctioned death.

These issues needs to be addressed, but it is so much easier -- and utterly mindless -- to turn the historically accurate remarks of a man who had no intention of insulting his Muslim brothers and sisters into another Danish cartoon incident.

For the record, the offending words came at the outset of a scholarly address on reason and faith in which Benedict recounted a conversation on the truths of Christianity and Islam that took place between Manuel II Paleologus, a 14th-century Byzantine Christian emperor, and a Persian scholar.

This is what the pope said:
“The emperor comes to speak about the issue of jihad, holy war. He said, I quote, ‘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.’ ”

Benedict also briefly discussed the Islamic concept of jihad, which he defined as “holy war,” and said that violence in the name of religion is contrary to God’s nature and to reason.

How can a truly peace-loving person disagree with that?


Shaun Mullen said...

Thank you for your thoughts, Vikadan.

I adore India in all its vast, clamoring dysfunctional greatness. The Dear Friend & Conscience lived there. (I got thrown out trying to get into Bangladesh right after independence. There's a big container of saag paneer between the tuna salad and tortillas in the fridge in the other room. Lunch today is saag and garlic nan.

Anyhow, I too share you fear. The so-called modernization of India has been far too convulsive and far too secular. I pray that Muslims will speak out against the fascist beast in their midst.

Be safe.

Shaun Mullen said...

Thank you for the clarification.

While we are on the subject, might you suggest why more Muslim leaders are not more outspoken about the people who make no bones about the fact that they want to kill me and my children? Or is this a case of the Western media focusing on the negative and not the positive?

Shaun Mullen said...

You're right, Cassidy, but saying that also is a long way from saying "Pretty please, don't fly jetliners into skyscapers," which would be inoffensive but meaningless. Perhaps I need to be somewhere in between and only have half as many Muslims pissed off at me.

Language is the lubricant of this particular slippery slope, and you are absolutely correct that I must tread carefully.