Tuesday, September 19, 2006
And Benedictamania Continues
Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has said recent remarks by the Pope on Islam were in line with what he called a "crusade" against Muslims.Quite right. It wasn't an apology. Pope Benedict XVI, who I hope will not become a martyr to the truth, said that he regrets the "reaction in some countries" to his speech, but not the speech. Note that Khameini's remarks amount to the idea that no one in the entire world may criticise anything called Islam, even if it is a twisted misrepresentation of Islam.
Ayatollah Khamenei said the remarks by Pope Benedict XVI last Tuesday were the "latest link" in "the chain of a conspiracy to set in train a crusade".
Other links, he added, included the cartoon satirising Muhammad and "the insulting remarks of some American and European politicians and newspapers about Islam".
Sami Abu Zuhri, a spokesman for Hamas, which controls the Palestinian parliament, said: "We do not view the statement attributed to the Pope as an apology."
Newsday reviews some of the responses to the lecture at a Regensburg university last week:
Al-Qaida in Iraq and its allies said Muslims would be victorious and addressed the pope as "the worshipper of the cross," saying "you and the West are doomed as you can see from the defeat in Iraq, Afghanistan, Chechnya and elsewhere. ... We will break up the cross, spill the liquor and impose the 'jizya' tax, then the only thing acceptable is a conversion (to Islam) or (being killed by) the sword."It wasn't confined to Iraq, though. Next up, the UN:
"You infidels and despots, we will continue our jihad (holy war) and never stop until God avails us to chop your necks and raise the fluttering banner of monotheism, when God's rule is established governing all people and nations," said the statement by the Mujahedeen Shura Council, an umbrella organization of Sunni Arab extremist groups in Iraq.
Another Iraqi extremist group, Ansar al-Sunna, challenged "sleeping Muslims" to prove their manhood by doing something other than "issuing statements or holding demonstrations."
"If the stupid pig is prancing with his blasphemies in his house," the group said in a Web statement, referring to the pope, "then let him wait for the day coming soon when the armies of the religion of right knock on the walls of Rome."
"His comments really hurt Muslims all over the world," Umar Nawawi of the radical Islamic Defenders' Front said in Jakarta. "We should remind him not to say such things which can only fuel a holy war."And in the meantime, the Australians show stones (The Times Online):
Islamic countries also asked the U.N. Human Rights Council to examine the question of religious tolerance. Malaysia's foreign minister, Syed Hamid Albar, said Benedict's apology was "inadequate to calm the anger."
Effigies of the Pope were burnt from Basra in Iraq to Muzaffarabad in Kashmir. The president of the Islamic Association of China said that the Pope had insulted both Islam and the Prophet Muhammad.I hope the good archbishop doesn't get whacked for his courage. The Anchoress' comments on martyrdom now come to mind.
Cardinal George Pell, the Archbishop of Sydney, said: “The violent reactions in many parts of the Islamic world justified one of Pope Benedict’s main fears . . . They show the link for many Islamists between religion and violence, their refusal to respond to criticism with rational arguments, but only with demonstrations, threats and actual violence.”
For something that has nothing to do with ranting and raving and a whole lot to do with independent thought, see Oraculations, specifically his posts on McCain, gold and gas. I nominate Howard for "least likely to be swayed by a mob".
But I must say, I am completely at a loss here.
"We are not a violent religion! And if you say that again, we are giong to kill you!"
It is one of the few times in my life that I am at a complete loss.
I think the lawyer must argue that we are hearing the response of the fringe, and not the whole body, and all Muslims don't stand for this. I've personally known quite a few who don't.
Still, I think Benedict's point about what to avoid has been made. I wish the west would look at itself and understand how his point applies to us. That was really the focus of his argument. Hollering "all Muslims are bad" is unreasonable because it ignores the majority who are neither advocating nor participating in violence. If the Islam in people's hearts were really the Islam of the radicals calling for every Muslim to attack the Pope, all Muslim societies would have destroyed themselves.
But don't we see similar gaps in reason in the west, and don't we see similar wrath with those who disagree? I think we should regard ourselves in this mirror.
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