Friday, September 15, 2006

Pope Benedict XVI's comment against Islam

Pope Benedict XVI quoted a book during a speech to a German University that described a conversation between a 14th century Byzantine Christian Emperor Manuel Paleologos II and a Persian scholar on the truths of Christianity and Islam.

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

Many in the Muslim world are now outraged by the remark. In Turkey, where the Pope hopes to make his first visit to a Muslim country this November, members of the ruling president’s party there called the quote “ignorance.”

Islamic religious groups protested quickly to the Pope’s words and demanded an apology saying he was throwing gasoline on a fire raging in the world between religious groups and also likened the comment to a movement to bring back the Crusades.

The First Crusade was Medieval campaigns in the name of Christianity backed by Pope Urban II. The Byzantine emperor Alexius I called for help defending his empire against the Turks and the Pope offered full penance to any Christians to join the war and help defend the empire and free the Holy Land. The war grew in power and force.

The war helped the Pope fuel Christian passion. Until the 11th Century, Christians were allowed to visit the Holy Land peacefully on their pilgrimages. Then the Turks took over Jerusalem and prevented Christians form visiting. The Pope called for all Christian princes to take up arms and campaign to free the Holy Lands from Turkish control.

What followed were twelve more crusades but none matched the fervor of the First Crusade.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad President of the Islamic Republic of Iran expressed the following statement in a speech:

“They have invented a myth that Jews were massacred and place this above God, religions and the prophets. The West has given more significance to the myth of the genocide of the Jews, even more significant than God, religion, and the prophets, (it) deals very severely with those who deny this myth but does not do anything to those who deny God, religion, and the prophet. If you have burned the Jews, why don't you give a piece of Europe, the United States, Canada or Alaska to Israel? Our question is, if you have committed this huge crime, why should the innocent nation of Palestine pay for this crime?”

What he says here is that the holocaust is a myth and if we believe this myth then Europe or America should give up a piece of its land for Isreal. This is a curious statement since almost everyhwere in Europe and America (I do say slmost because in theory it is correct) Jews are welcome to setlle in any place they like.

Of course the heart of the matter is that not one Muslim leader protested against this hateful comment. Of course the United States and Germany had something to say to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad but silence from the Muslim world. No protests in the streets over inflaming religious hatred, no publich condemnations, the Pakistan's parliament did not adopt a resolution condemning the Iranian leader as they did to condemn the Pope.

The overreaction in the Muslim world to perceived insults and minor infractions, like the cartoon controversy earlier last year show the instability in the leadership of that part of the world. Public outcry against statements or opinions comes from one direction only.

I find this to be an appalling state in the Muslim community. Where one leader can insanely deny one of the 20th Century’s worst humanitarian crimes without rebuke from his people but a statement from another religious leader or even a political cartoon can incite this type of reaction.


J said...

Hypocrisy is worse in religion than it is in politics...the Muslims have the mind of a four year old on crystal meth with a rifle, ready to go off on the smallest thing....

Dangerous times we live in, eh?

ObilonKenobi said...