Saturday, September 16, 2006

Pope Benedict's War of Words

Pope Benedict XVI (Germany) was attempting to promote respect and dialogue between all religions, including Islam, when he recounted a talk between a 14th Century Byzantine Christian Emperor, Manuel Paleologos II and a 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.'

Turkey's Religious Affairs Director, Ali Bardakoglu, taking the quote out of context and obviously not reading the entire speech or grasping it's meaning, called the Pope's remarks, "extraordinarily worrying, saddening and unfortunate" sparking violent demonstrations (as did the Danish Cartoons) across the Muslim world. Reacting violently to honest intellectual dialogue is a characteristic of an unsophisticated Muslim society to this date ...Worse, it reflects the ignorant denial of civilized societies' War on Terror and Islamist Jihadis' responsibility for it.

Muslim Religious leaders instead of endorsing this type of ignorant mob violence, puntuated with chants of "Death to Infidels! Death to the USA! Death to Israeal! Death to everybody and anybody!, due to mere talk or cartoons, should demand reasonable discussion and altleast RECOGNIZE the problem that prompted the Pope's remarks and warn the Muslim population against the growing condemnation of Islam by weary, hard hit victims of Jihadi terrorist attacks throughout the World. Afterall, this is not the 14th Century, it's long overdue that Muslims accept modernity and engage appropriately with humanity in the 21st.

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