Monday, September 18, 2006

The Pope and the Islamofacists

A medieval reference in an academic lecture by Pope Benedict XVI unleashed a wave of denunciations, outrage and frustration across the Muslim world last Friday, with officials in Turkey and Pakistan condemning the pontiff, Islamic activist groups organizing protests and a leading religious figure in Lebanon demanding that he personally apologize.

The quote key quote is: "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." It was taken out of context and attributed to the wrong person. This "enraging verbage" was made by the Byzantine emporer, not the Pope.

Pope Benedict XVI sought Sunday to extinguish days of anger and protest among Muslims by issuing an extraordinary personal apology for remarks he made referring to Islam as "evil and inhuman." "I am deeply sorry for the reactions in some countries to a few passages of my address," the 79-year-old pope told pilgrims at the summer papal palace, Castel Gandolfo, under increased security, "which were considered offensive."

"These were in fact quotations from a medieval text, which do not in any way express my personal thought," he said in Italian, according to the official English translation. "The true meaning of my address in its totality was and is an invitation to frank and sincere dialogue, with great mutual respect."

An al-Qaida-linked extremist group warned Pope Benedict XVI on Monday that he and the West were "doomed," as protesters raged across the Muslim world to demand more of an apology from the pontiff for his remarks about Islam and violence. The Mujahedeen Shura Council, an umbrella organization of Sunni Arab extremist groups that includes al-Qaida in Iraq, issued a statement on a Web forum vowing to continue its holy war against the West.

So we hear ancient text about Mohammed's "command" to spread by the sword the faith he preached and "jihad" in which that violence in the name of religion was contrary to God's nature and to reason. What is the Muslim reations? violence, burning the Pope in effigy, shooting a nun, burning churches, reissued calls for the destruction of the West. Same old song and dance.

How can one deal with one who revolts over bogus information. There are no rationalizing or peace talks that will ever appease the zealots. These responses are the norm from irrational people.

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