09/19 Update, from the blogosphere and op-ed pages: The Times of London (Broken link, active September 19, 2006) quotes al Qaeda in Iraq as saying: “We tell the worshipper of the Cross [the Pope] that you and the West will be defeated . . . May God enable us to slit their throats …” Yeah, that will convince everyone that the Pope was wrong about Islam and violence. Jihad Watch remarks on the irony that Gaza’s Muslims have banded together to attack Christian targets until the Pope apologizes to Muslims … for noting the correlation between Islam and violence. And didn’t the Pope apologize already? But I suppose that might have been overlooked in the Gaza press. But an apology is not enough for some in Gaza. Now they say the Pope must convert to Islam if he wants to live in peace. But an op-ed columnist for the Washington Post says Enough apologies, already. Western secularists and religionists need to unite against radical Islam to preserve freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and the freedom of the press. Good for the Washington Post.
Original post dated 09/18/06:
I am trying to understand, why the Muslims are so outraged about the Pope’s speech last week. He quoted a Byzantine emperor, who said that Mohammed brought nothing new to religion, other than what was evil, which is spreading religion by forced conversions at the point of a sword. The Muslims are outraged that the Pope would say this.
But the Pope didn’t say it, he quoted a long- dead Byzantine emperor who said it. His point was that reason and religion go together, and that violence and religion do not; that reason and God are both opposed to violence. Why is that so condemning? Why are the Muslims outraged? Is it because they believe that reason and God are not opposed to violence, that violence is the just handmaiden of religion?
Didn’t Muslims just kidnap two Fox News journalists and force them to convert to Islam at gunpoint? So how can they argue that Islam is not spread by forced conversions? Perhaps their point of rage is the notion that forced conversions are evil. It could be that they do not see forced conversions as evil at all. But I wonder if they would still hold that view, if a Muslim was kidnapped by a Christian, and forced to convert to Christianity at gunpoint. Wouldn’t they consider that “evil”?
Now the Muslim world is demanding apologies (and the New York Times jumped right in with the misled and unread fanatics), and refusing to calm down when apologies are given; attacking churches, killing defenseless nuns (Broken link, active September 11, 2006), burning the Pope in effigy, threatening the Pope’s life, saying war is inevitable (but read history, Islam has been at war with the West since 732 ad; 9/11 and following is just the latest installment), and generally proving by their rabid and irrational response to the Pope’s remarks, that Islam has been unable since its inception to divorce itself from violence. Perhaps Islam’s source has something to do with it.