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The Pope’s words, this time in context
Posted by: McQ on Friday, September 15, 2006

Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't it considered proper form that when you quote a person, and you leave out part of what he says for whatever reason, you indicate that with "..."?

For instance, the BBC published excerpts of the Pope's speech which has so warmed the hearts of Muslims. In a section entitled "Key Excerpts: the Pope's Speech", under the subtitle "On Holy War", they begin as follows:
I was reminded of all this recently, when I read... of part of the dialogue carried on - perhaps in 1391 in the winter barracks near Ankara - by the erudite Byzantine Emperor Manuel II Paleologus and an educated Persian on the subject of Christianity and Islam, and the truth of both.
Note the "...". Here's it is from his speech (pdf):
I was reminded of all this recently, when I read the edition by Professor Theodore Khoury (Münster) of part of the dialogue carried on - perhaps in 1391 in the winter barracks near Ankara - by the erudite Byzantine emperor Manuel II Paleologus and an educated Persian on the subject of Christianity and Islam, and the truth of both.
Emphasized portion left out and reader told through the use of "...". Right? Cool. Everything is wonderful.

Now the entire excerpt from "On Holy War" from the BBC:

Show/Hide

Certainly sounds like a condemnation of not only Muhammad but Islam doesn't it?

In fact, the BBC story about the speech characterizes it as thusly:

Show/Hide

Take a look at the actual text of the speech:

Show/Hide

Consider the context left out in the story and the published "Key Excerpts" with no indication that anything was missing (even though strangely, they do indicate portions were omitted in other parts of the excerpt). All of the emphasized portion is excluded.

The entire second paragraph, left out without a hint to the reader, establishes the background of his remarks and, as he points out serves "as a starting point for my reflections on this issue". For most that would seem key to understanding what the Pope was going to say.

Let's move to this portion in the third paragraph:
The emperor must have known that surah 2, 256 reads: "There is no compulsion in religion". According to the experts, this is one of the suras of the early period, when Mohammed was still powerless and under threat. But naturally the emperor also knew the instructions, developed later and recorded in the Qur'an, concerning holy war.
Those three sentences are vital to understanding the next statement the Pope makes. Here he points out that a surah found in the Qur'an and understood at the time this emperor lived pointedly said "There is no compulsion in religion". In other words, even with Islam, there can be no forced conversion. It could even be broadly interpreted as saying under Islam there is, at least, a measure of freedom of religion.

So when the Emperor of whom the Pope was speaking, juxtaposed that instruction with what Mohammad claimed Islam was required to do, i.e. spread Islam by the sword, it is no surprise at all the emperor, not the Pope, said:
"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"
Frankly I'd have raised the same question had I been emperor and I certainly can't fault the Pope for echoing his concerns. They're the same concerns we all have as they relate to Islam.

And why, do you suppose the last sentence in the excerpt was left off? Because it speaks to reasonableness and that among reasonable people, a "strong arm" or "weapons" are not necessary if a convincing argument can be presented peacefully.

But back to the point. The BBC simply mangled the "key excerpts" and gave a completely different meaning to what the Pope said. Given those excerpts and then the BBC's version of the Pope's denial of any intent to inflame or defame Islam, you'd be left thinking "riiiight, sure Pope".

But when you read them in context, suddenly they make a lot more sense and you can indeed understand that his point, or should I say the Emperor's point, has merit and is, indeed, a seeming contradiction which should be addressed in Islam at every level.

Wonderful job BBC.
 
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The BBC simply mangled the "key excerpts" and gave a completely different meaning to what the Pope said.
At this point, are you even suprised?
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
This story got the "real treatment." Both bad writing and bad editing.

I’m only surprised that they didn’t describe the pope as wearing "colourful costumes" and a "pointy hat."

This kind of reporting by pseudo-intelectual reporters is why there has never been a real discussion of any subjects of substance like "Global Warming," beginning of life (both evolution/inteligent design or in the womb) et cetera et cetera et cetera.

 
Written By: Neo
URL: http://
I condone peace. Islam is about peace. And, in context, the Pope’s speech was about just that. Introducing the quote which some Muslims found offensive, Pope Benedict himself described its tone as "startling brusqueness". IMHO, he would never assert that Mohammed begot evil; rather, he used the quote to explain why violence is not a proper way to spread real faith. Please avoid the West’s typically over-simplified "soundbytes" and read the actual quote: http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/speeches/2006/september/documents/hf_ben-xvi_spe_20060912_university-regensburg_en.html
 
Written By: Brian Cleveland
URL: http://
Are you implying that peoples views can be distorted by picking out particular quotes and ignoring context? Somebody else has been pointing that out of late...oh, it was me! The problem is if you stop the practice half the blogwars and a corresponding drop in traffic would ensue. Supply and demand.
 
Written By: Lance
URL: http://www.asecondhandconjecture.com
Islam is about peace about as much as I am for advancing the goals and agenda of the Democratic party.

You what’s coming don’t you? This is going to be yet another excuse for them to riot and start to go nuts. I’ll be very suprised if they find a way to restrain themselves.

 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
Are you implying that peoples views can be distorted by picking out particular quotes and ignoring context?
Imply? Nope, I’m flat out sayin’ it Lance. ;)
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Come on Lance, you know it’s not distoring views by picking out particular quotes and ignoring contexts. It’s divining true intent by shielding oneself from lying directly contradicting statements.
 
Written By: ChrisB
URL: http://
This is going to be yet another excuse for them to riot and start to go nuts. I’ll be very suprised if they find a way to restrain themselves.
If you’re young and unemployed burning effigies and embassies seems like a great way to pass the time don’t it?

Think of it as sort of like winning the Islamic football world cup.

As it is they’re just working up a good head of steam before they go on to prove how peaceful they are....by burning an embassy, maybe setting fire to a church or a nun, you know, "peace loving" protest stuff.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
From Juan Cole:


.. mentioned Islam and jihad, has provoked a firestorm of controversy.

The address is more complex and subtle than the press on it represents. But let me just signal that what is most troubling of all is that the Pope gets several things about Islam wrong, just as a matter of fact.

He notes that the text he discusses, a polemic against Islam by a Byzantine emperor, cites Qur’an 2:256: "There is no compulsion in religion." Benedict maintains that this is an early verse, when Muhammad was without power.

His allegation is incorrect. Surah 2 is a Medinan surah revealed when Muhammad was already established as the leader of the city of Yathrib (later known as Medina or "the city" of the Prophet). The pope imagines that a young Muhammad in Mecca before 622 (lacking power) permitted freedom of conscience, but later in life ordered that his religion be spread by the sword. But since Surah 2 is in fact from the Medina period when Muhammad was in power, that theory does not hold water.

In fact, the Qur’an at no point urges that religious faith be imposed on anyone by force. This is what it says about the religions:


’ [2:62] Those who believe (in the Qur’an), and those who follow the Jewish (scriptures), and the Christians and the Sabians— any who believe in God and the Last Day, and work righteousness, shall have their reward with their Lord; on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve. ’


See my comments On the Quran and peace.

The idea of holy war or jihad (which is about defending the community or at most about establishing rule by Muslims, not about imposing the faith on individuals by force) is also not a Quranic doctrine. The doctrine was elaborated much later, on the Umayyad-Byzantine frontier, long after the Prophet’s death. In fact, in early Islam it was hard to join, and Christians who asked to become Muslim were routinely turned away. The tyrannical governor of Iraq, al-Hajjaj, was notorious for this rejection of applicants, because he got higher taxes on non-Muslims. Arab Muslims had conquered Iraq, which was then largely pagan, Zoroastrian, Christian and Jewish. But they weren’t seeking converts and certainly weren’t imposing their religion.

The pope was trying to make the point that coercion of conscience is incompatible with genuine, reasoned faith. He used Islam as a symbol of the coercive demand for unreasoned faith.

But he has been misled by the medieval polemic on which he depended.

In fact, the Quran also urges reasoned faith and also forbids coercion in religion. The only violence urged in the Quran is in self-defense of the Muslim community against the attempts of the pagan Meccans to wipe it out.

The pope says that in Islam, God is so transcendant that he is beyond reason and therefore cannot be expected to act reasonably. He contrasts this conception of God with that of the Gospel of John, where God is the Logos, the Reason inherent in the universe.

But there have been many schools of Islamic theology and philosophy. The Mu’tazilite school maintained exactly what the Pope is saying, that God must act in accordance with reason and the good as humans know them. The Mu’tazilite approach is still popular in Zaidism and in Twelver Shiism of the Iraqi and Iranian sort. The Ash’ari school, in contrast, insisted that God was beyond human reason and therefore could not be judged rationally. (I think the Pope would find that Tertullian and perhaps also John Calvin would be more sympathetic to this view within Christianity than he is).

As for the Quran, it constantly appeals to reason in knowing God, and in refuting idolatry and paganism, and asks, "do you not reason?" "do you not understand?" (a fala ta`qilun?)

Of course, Christianity itself has a long history of imposing coerced faith on people, including on pagans in the late Roman Empire, who were forcibly converted. And then there were the episodes of the Crusades.

Another irony is that reasoned, scholastic Christianity has an important heritage drom Islam itself. In the 10th century, there was little scholasticism in Christian theology. The influence of Muslim thinkers such as Averroes (Ibn Rushd) and Avicenna (Ibn Sina) reemphasized the use of Aristotle and Plato in Christian theology. Indeed, there was a point where Christian theologians in Paris had divided into partisans of Averroes or of Avicenna, and they conducted vigorous polemics with one another.

Finally, that Byzantine emperor that the Pope quoted, Manuel II? The Byzantines had been weakened by Latin predations during the fourth Crusade, so it was in a way Rome that had sought coercion first. And, he ended his days as a vassal of the Ottoman Empire.

The Pope was wrong on the facts. He should apologize to the Muslims and get better advisers on Christian-Muslim relations.
 
Written By: glasnost
URL: http://
The Pope was wrong on the facts. He should apologize to the Muslims and get better advisers on Christian-Muslim relations.
As usual, Juan Cole gets it wrong. The Pope was not discussing Islam, nor trying to state anything factual about Islam. He was pointing to two different, and diametrically opposed means of trying to understand faith.

I went into detail about this here.
 
Written By: MichaelW
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
He should apologize to the Muslims
Maybe, just maybe the muslims should do some apologizing to the world before they ever DARE to ask for an apology of any kind for anything....
 
Written By: Shark
URL: http://
Maybe, just maybe the muslims should do some apologizing to the world before they ever DARE to ask for an apology of any kind for anything....
Maybe the spiritual leader of just over 1 billion people worldwide should be expected to be a big enough man to stand up and say "Sorry, I meant no offense - the statement was designed to illustrate a theologic point, not to insult the followers of Islam."

Maybe, just maybe, being internally consistent means not waiting for your opponents to admit their wrongs before you stand up and take responsibility for your own. Maybe two wrongs never did make a right, and still don’t.

Maybe, when the Eastern world accuses the West of hubris, this is what they’re talking about.
 
Written By: Gil
URL: http://
And a Byzantine emperor would know nothing about Islam? That is stupidly humorous.
 
Written By: Mark A. Flacy
URL: http://
Maybe the spiritual leader of just over 1 billion people worldwide should be expected to be a big enough man to stand up and say "Sorry, I meant no offense - the statement was designed to illustrate a theologic point, not to insult the followers of Islam."
You mean like this, Gil:
Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi has tried to defuse anger, saying the pope did not intend to offend Muslim sensibilities and insisting Benedict respects Islam. In Pakistan, the Vatican envoy voiced regret at "the hurt caused to Muslims."
No apology should be necessary, nor would one be except for the mis-reporting if his speech. The media deserves a healthy dose of the blame for any blood spilled over this IMHO.
 
Written By: MichaelW
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
I had in mind that he’d do it himself, MichaelW. Can’t be that hard for that guy to get a few minutes of air time, right?
The media deserves a healthy dose of the blame for any blood spilled over this IMHO.
Hear hear! The pontiff could do a little media handslapping while he was at the podium as well. As to whether or not an apology is necessary - that’s hardly the point. An apology costs nothing, and if you’ve been misunderstood and people have become angry, it goes a long way to clarify your point and try to defuse the outrage. There can be no shame in a priest being humble, nor should a pope pass up the chance to reiterate a missive - particularly one with potentially dangerous consequences if misunderstood.
 
Written By: Gil
URL: http://
Some people say that the media is controlled by a few that seek to profit and thus have an agenda to maximize this profit.

Some people wrongly or rightly point to a certain few of the Jewish religion.

If we assume any accuracy in their claims, does it make sense that they would want to fuel a clash between the East and West, susbequently gaining a majority of the world as an ally to futher advance their own agenda.

Like in Denmark...cartoons. Media definetely played its part.

Like in Iraq, American media deeply i nvolved in that one too.

 
Written By: George
URL: http://
Maybe the spiritual leader of just over 1 billion people worldwide should be expected to be a big enough man to stand up and say "Sorry, I meant no offense - the statement was designed to illustrate a theologic point, not to insult the followers of Islam."
Maybe the Muslims who are flipping out should give the Spiritual leader of over a billion people the courtesy of noticing what he said and in what context he said it, as well as what audience he said it to. Maybe they should not be so presumptive as to assume that the spiritual leader of over a billion people owes them an apology for their every instance of being offended. Where is the tolerance from the Islamic world?

Your suggestions are offensive, Gil. What do you plan to do about that?
 
Written By: Pablo
URL: http://
Some people say that the media is controlled by a few that seek to profit and thus have an agenda to maximize this profit.


Some people wrongly or rightly point to a certain few of the Jewish religion.
Some people say that those are shape shifting alien lizards.

And some people say the Cartoon Jihad was fueled by 5 Danish Imams that toured the Middle East fomenting hatered for their own country.
 
Written By: Pablo
URL: http://
Gil
Since they took it out of context, you think he should apologize?
And what makes you think they would accept the apology.
This just fits in with a world view they already have that they are rocket scientists perceived by the west to be camel herders.
They WANT to be upset, it’s just another reason to think the west has knocked that mosque sized chip off their shoulders, again.

They’re not exactly ’turning the other cheek’ are they?
The more we apologize to these clowns for every slight they perceive
they’ve taken the more perceptual power we grant them and the more we
encourage them to throw tantrums.

Let’s see in the last year "Islam" has rioted -
Over cartoons,
Over the accidental death of two kids,
Over a misinterpretation/misrepresentation of the Popes comments
(surely others I’m just not remembering)

Collective western religions have rioted how many times?

The only time these yahoos pay any attention to the pope is when he is purported to say something like this, otherwise they ignore him.
Frankly so does a lot of the 1st world, a lot of the time.

As to a secret planned agenda - darn you!, another brilliant master plan discovered, again!
I shall inform the masters in Tel-aviv that we are unmasked and the
latest plan (code named, "the latest plan") is foiled.
Time to implement the "other operation".
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Gil - before declare intifada and jihad, my last comment was
for George. Feel free to riot for a while though.

George - you may riot, burn my embassies, demand apologies, and consider
taking hostages.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Maybe, just maybe, being internally consistent means not waiting for your opponents to admit their wrongs before you stand up and take responsibility for your own. Maybe two wrongs never did make a right, and still don’t.

Maybe, when the Eastern world accuses the West of hubris, this is what they’re talking about
Dhimmi time!

Maybe, just maybe the words "tough sh*t" should be applied to these Muslims over issues like this.

As for Western "hubris" - it’s well deserved. Why shouldn’t we have hubris?
 
Written By: Shark
URL: http://
I can quote Hitler as saying something in 1939, and a day later the BBC can say that I want to eradicate 6 million Jews.

Please notice 2 things:

1. The Muslim clergyman who heard the original statement did not go into a frenzy and kill a lot of people. It’s possible to be a Muslim clergy man and not go nuts. At least it was possible in the past...

2. The violence already started. Just like in the cartoon controversy, Muslims are willing to harm people and religious buildings if anyone dares to slander them as not being peaceful.


 
Written By: Tomer
URL: http://
Hubris.... interesting....

I didn’t go through every single comment of every single person, but it seems like some people here think that the westerners shouldn’t see themselves as better than others...

Well, regardless of people’s origins, color, religion and gender, I believe that a culture that sees women as human beings with rights is superior to a culture that sees women as property.
I believe that a country in which it is illegal to murder homosexual is superior to a country where mere attraction to member of your own gender is a capital offense.

I believe that a country where it is legal to debate disagreements and legitimate to say on the street or on TV: "My leader is a moron!" is superior to a country where saying "I somewhat disagree with my leader" is a crime.

I believe that John Kerry, George Bush, Ted Kennedy, Dale Franks, and even Pat Robertson are superior to Adolf Hitler, Usama Bin Laden, and Hassan Nasralla.

You may disagree with me and debate me. Many people worldwide envy you for that.
 
Written By: Tomer
URL: http://
Well, regardless of people’s origins, color, religion and gender, I believe that a culture that sees women as human beings with rights is superior to a culture that sees women as property.

I believe that a country in which it is illegal to murder homosexual is superior to a country where mere attraction to member of your own gender is a capital offense.

I believe that a country where it is legal to debate disagreements and legitimate to say on the street or on TV: "My leader is a moron!" is superior to a country where saying "I somewhat disagree with my leader" is a crime.
Exactly Tomer. I have no problem at all stating a culture is inferior when there are comparisons like that to be had. But, of course, that is all based on my idea of ideology and morality, isn’t it?

That’s not to excuse those cultures (nor, in my opinion, does it make them ’equal’ as the multiculturalists would claim) but it does explain why those in those cultures don’t accept your arguments.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Muslims and reporters get it all wrong for the same reason; they are not bright enough to understand the remarks in context. In fact, if you look at it in the right way, one cannot help but observe that the Koran resembles journalism; it flits about, contradicts itself; and changes with each gust of the wind.
 
Written By: ken
URL: http://
Interesting thread. I’m new here so perhaps some of what I’ll touch on has already been done to death.

1. As mentioned above, taken in context, the Pontiff simply used a quote he had recently read as a stepping off point to discuss a larger topic. He did not validate the quote nor make it his own. Had he not used it, the quote would still exist.

2. His basic focus appeared to be that Faith should be spread through the use of reason rather than through the use of violence. He did not claim that Islam is spread through the use of violence or that Islam advocates violence. At most, he implied that the quoted Byzantine emperor claimed it.

3. I’m certainly no expert on Islamic scripture, but in the spirit of taking things out of context, I offer the following: If the Qu’ran does not advocate conversion by the sword, it certainly appears to provide ample motivation:

- …Give tidings (O Muhammad) of a painful doom to those who disbelieve, excepting those of the idolaters with whom ye (Muslims) have a treaty, and who have since abated nothing of your right nor have supported anyone against you. (As for these), fulfill their treaty to them till their term. Lo! Allah loveth those who keep their duty (unto Him). Then, when the sacred months have passed, slay the idolaters wherever ye find them, and take them (captive), and besiege them, and prepare for them each ambush… <9:3 – 9:5, Pickthal translation> [I understand that this text does not apply to Christian or Jewish faith.]

4. Strangely, I haven’t seen any mention of Sunnah or Hadith. Am I wrong that these narrations of the prophet’s (pbuh) life are also considered holy texts forming the second leg (the first being the Qu’ran) of the Islamic faith? Unless the translations are wrong, they most certainly do advocate conversion by the sword.

- The Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) said: I have been commanded to fight against people until they testify that there is no god but Allah, and he who professes it is guaranteed the protection of his property and life on my behalf except for a right warrant, and his affairs rest with Allah. – Hadith 11

So, my question is, just what is everyone so upset about? What did the Pope say that was not true? Where is the blasphemy?
 
Written By: Norman
URL: http://boliviafocus.blogspot.com/
Norman: Quit refreshing while in the comment screen. That reposts your last comment.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog

So, my question is, just what is everyone so upset about? What did the Pope say that was not true? Where is the blasphemy?
It is true. That’s the problem. Among themselves, they make it perfectly clear that the sentiments expressed in the quote (though not by Pope Benedict) are correct.

But an infidel leader says it? And lives? That’s blasphemy. So, you’ve got muslims thinking about trying to kill the second Pope in a row.

Where is all the peace in Islam? How peaceful can a religion be that requires you to be perpetually offended?
 
Written By: Pablo
URL: http://
Your suggestions are offensive, Gil. What do you plan to do about that?
I will apologize, Pablo. I am sorry you found my words offensive. Tell me, what part of:
Maybe the spiritual leader of just over 1 billion people worldwide should be expected to be a big enough man to stand up and say "Sorry, I meant no offense - the statement was designed to illustrate a theologic point, not to insult the followers of Islam."
Offends you? Is it the suggestion that the Pope can be a good man as well as a spiritual leader? Or is it the suggestion that he is susceptible to mortal error?

Either way I certainly do not wish to challenge your centuries old deeply held beliefs. Please accept that this is only my view; it need not be yours. In time, I hope that we will find a common ground which allows us to discuss this issue more fully.


 
Written By: Gil
URL: http://
religions has and will always be a subject of strife. not because we dont believe in god. but because we believe that our way is the only way. when we think that we can force others to believe what we chose them to believe then we shall certainly lose.
peace does not elude the wise man
for the wise man chooses peace through god.
 
Written By: little one
URL: http://
You know, I once went to the website of the Chechen rebels, where they talk about the EVIL RUSSIANS AND THEIR WAR CRIMES.

The Chechens supplied the 5 different interpertations of the quran to how a believing Muslim should behave when it comes to prisoners of war. Now, Interpertation #1 was a very pacifistic one, talking about how it’s your DUTY to treat them nice, even if they’re none Muslims.
Interpertation #5 talked about how it’s your duty to kill all prisoners of wars violently, even if they are Muslims. Interpertations 2-4 were all somewhere between those two, with rising levels of violence.

Now, here’s the thing: Each different interpertation is actually backed up with lines from the Quran! How about that? You can find anything in the Quran. True, the same goes for Chrisitans and Jews. God knows that you can find lines that justify grusome violence there, but thank god, we have evolved. Muslim countries TODAY, unfortunately, seem much more primitive than Jewish culture was 2000 YEARS AGO.


 
Written By: Tomer
URL: http://
Gil, I’d have told me to pound sand but you want to offer apology. Now, the natural thing for me to do is to seek redress of my damages. Except I wasn’t damaged in the least, but that doesn’t necessarily stop me. Oh, the milage one can get out of a tantrum.

Who has been damaged by the Pope’s use of that quote in a scholarly lecture? No one but people who WANT TO BE OFFENDED. Screw them. They are not the world’s speech police and they’ve got no grounds whatsoever to tell the head of the Roman Catholic Church what he may or may not say.(Or anyone else, for that matter) It’s obnoxious, it’s presumptuous and in this case it reeks of hypocrisy.

For the record, I’m as lapsed a Catholic as you’ll ever come across. We’re not threatening any deeply held beliefs here.

 
Written By: Pablo
URL: http://
Pablo, normally I would have told you to pound sand AND where to pack it - but I decided to make a point about diplomacy instead. You still don’t agree with me, and you’re still angry - fine. But you might notice that we’re negotiating now, instead of attacking. You’ve also shared some of your truth, which gives our discussion a place to go. Diplomacy is an incremental art.

You can demand redress for your damages - and I can parlay that redress into the essentially meaningless. Eventually, everyone’s pride has been satisfied, and nobody had to bleed over it. If I can do it, so can the head of the Roman Catholic church. After all, in the words of well loved cartoons across this nation: "He’sa da freakin’ Pope!"
 
Written By: Gil
URL: http://
You still don’t agree with me, and you’re still angry - fine.
Angry? Not with you, Gil. I invoked offense to prove a point of my own.
But you might notice that we’re negotiating now, instead of attacking.
I’m not a fanatic, Gil. You can talk to me, and nothing you can say about any historical figure is going to motivate me to kill you. Apples and oranges.
You can demand redress for your damages - and I can parlay that redress into the essentially meaningless.
But that’s just between you and I. As for the Pope vs. Islam, they’ve just raised the stakes by putting three rounds into the back of an Italian nun while she was working as a nurse at a children’s hospital in Mogadishu.

Tell me again who needs to moderate their conduct? Who would you like to see negotiating here?

Benedict’s address was a discussion of the relationship between faith and reason. It was a call to dialogue. Islam’s response has been "There’s nothing to discuss, so take back what that guy 1000 years ago said, apologize and then shut up or we’ll kill you."

What should Benedict counter with that he hasn’t already said? What should he reward this sort of negotiation with?
 
Written By: Pablo
URL: http://
Pablo, normally I would have told you to pound sand AND where to pack it - but I decided to make a point about diplomacy instead
Diplomacy isn’t about knowtowing to every contrived and manufactured "outrage" from (whoever) especially when the "diplomacy" you speak of is never recriprocal.
But you might notice that we’re negotiating now, instead of attacking.


Negotiating what exactly? The terms of your surrender? Here’s what has been "negotiated" - the terms in which you can speak about Islam, and the conditions which will make you cave in and apologize. Now tell me what you get through this "negotiation"
You’ve also shared some of your truth, which gives our discussion a place to go. Diplomacy is an incremental art
The mind boggles. This isn’t an airing of ideas in a drum circle in Yellowstone Park, this is a group that goes around with signs reading "Behead those who insult Islam" - and mean it! There is no "diplomacy" with them!
You can demand redress for your damages - and I can parlay that redress into the essentially meaningless
Nope. Once you give in, they keep coming back for more.
Eventually, everyone’s pride has been satisfied, and nobody had to bleed over it.


Except that their pride is not satisfied. And people have already bled over it
If I can do it, so can the head of the Roman Catholic church
You do realize the differencde between someone on a blog comment thread and the Pope, right?

Gil, overall you demonstrate no reason to take you seriously. You fail to know exactly who we’re dealing with here, you fail to know what dilplomacy and negotiation really means, and you fail to have any self-respect. When will fuzzy Ivory Tower diplomacy fetishists realize that endless diplomacy or diplomacy under the guise of submissiveness is really a plea for dhimmitude?
 
Written By: Shark
URL: http://
Thanks, Shark.
 
Written By: Gil
URL: http://
It seems everyone is bent on finding a text somewhere, written in the distant past, by someone other than themselves, to justify what they do or do not do.

I think people should take responsiblilty for their own actions in the present. Why does the fact that it was written a long time ago make it more correct?

The Christians of the past were just as active in sticking people with swords or burning them alive to get thier religion spread as any other religion. But we live in the present and we all can see now that it is wrong to do that.

If there is a judgement I don’t see God asking you what quote from what chapter from what book did you base your actions on. He will probably ask you what did your heart tell you and why did you fail to listen.
 
Written By: Relic
URL: http://
It is interesting to see what happens when people speak against Islam.
One wonders if what the Pope said is true or not.......

If he was wrong to say that all islam has brought is violence then why did we see such an over reaction?????

It seems to me that the muslims have successfully proven the case.
WELL DONE FOR SHOWING THE WORLD JUST HOW PEACEFUL ISLAM REALLY IS !!!!!!!!
 
Written By: LaidyJennifer
URL: http://
putting three rounds into the back of an Italian nun while she was working as a nurse at a children’s hospital in Mogadishu.
plugged a nun?
Damn sorry I predicted taking a nun out, not like it’s my fault and all, and not like the nuns I knew as a kid didn’t strike terror in me, but, hey, how manly was that, to waste a nun?


Where’s the outrage of their leaders now, now that "Islam" has slaughtered an innocent?
Isn’t it wrong to take revenge upon the servant of the Pope for the Pope’s comments?

Ah, Islam, such power, such might,
such a pathetic bunch of immature weasels.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Why didn’t the Pope quote the Persian scholar’s answer to Manuel? It was a conversation, after all. Are we to believe that the Persian gave no answer, that he did not challenge such a rant? He could not have been much of a scholar in that case.

http://www.deccan.com/columnists/Columnists.asp
 
Written By: alborz
URL: http://
Why didn’t the Pope quote the Persian scholar’s answer to Manuel?
Because it wasn’t germane to his point, and as you might imagine, speeches are usually given to make points.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
I am going to keep it simple. After reading the complete text of the message, it is my opinion that the Pope owes no follower of Islam an apology. Maybe the Islamic leaders might want to apologize for the killing of the nun. Maybe they might want to apologize for the burning of noncatholic churches.
In today’s enlightened societies, educated and socially adjusted people openly debate religious questions without fear of death. This shows just how backwards and at odds Muslims are in today’s world. They act like children instead of adults. Murderous children I might add.
The Pope was as they say, "keeping it real". It is the followers of Islam who owe the entire world an apology. They need to begin to pay a harsh penalty for their hatred and actions. It is time to pay back in kind!
 
Written By: vince
URL: http://
alborz, don’t you think that M.J. Akbar would have been better served by actually seeking the answers to his questions? We’re talking about a scholarly translation of an ancient text. Shouldn’t Akbar find the text, do the homework, and dazzle us with the results of it? Of what use is it to wonder aloud for us, and impugn motive based on mere suspicion?

It’s a cheap, lazy piece.
 
Written By: Pablo
URL: http://
This is a bit amazing. Twice now in recent history Islam has been offended, once by truly offensive cartoons and once by remarks by the Pope in an academic environment to a limited audience within a specific context. Both times the response has been violence in return for ideas. Now, did every Muslim respond with violence? No, of course not. Few did of course, but enough to establish a precedent. More to their credit, Muslim leaders denounced the violence. I applaud that. Have Christians / Catholics been insulted in a similar fashion recently? There is the dung-covered image of the Virgin Mary, (itself perhaps taken out of context). Did the response include outrage? Yes it did. Did it include murder? No it did not. So it is implicit that the Muslim response to perceived blasphemy may include extreme violence while the Christian response to perceived blasphemy probably will not. Why is that? That is not a rhetorical question; I’d like an answer. If the Pope had intentionally blasphemed Islam, did it merit the assassination of a 60-year-old nun in Somalia? Why do even a few Muslims respond to words or ideas with violence and murder? The actions of those few demand an apology from Islam infinitely more loudly than do the misconstrued words of the Pontiff to a limited audience in a specific context. More so, they demand that Islam immediately address this tendency to overreact to perceived verbal attacks. Leaders of Islam must take meaningful strides to avoid such violent response to mere thoughts and words. Before condemning others for the splinter in their eye, Islamic leaders must first remove the plank from theirs. It has been argued that Islam and the Qu’ran teach peace and tolerance. After this week, a demonstration is in order.
 
Written By: Norman
URL: http://boliviafocus.blogspot.com/
This piece neatly demonstrates the subversive tactics by which Islam is smeared with the label of violence and terror. The damage is done subtely and innocuously in the sentence "So when the Emperor of whom the Pope was speaking, juxtaposed that instruction with what Mohammad (pbuh) claimed Islam was required to do, i.e. spread Islam by the sword...".

It accuses Mohammed of promoting violence, then passes on without drawing breath and without offering evidence. I have have found no evidence for this accusation, in any serious body of work or study. The Qur’an tells muslims to defend themselves against attack or oppression, but cautions Muslims to "stop if they stop" and warns against "transgressing all bounds". Nowhere are Muslims told to spread the faith through war.

I agree the Pope’s words should be taken in proper context. He should adopt the same principal. The Emperor he quoted was the leader of a rapidly vanishing empire besieged on all sides by Muslims and CHRISTIAN adversaries. He sought help from the Pope and other christian leaders, and had every incentive to present the conflict in religious terms to bolster his case - much as the current Anglo-American political leadership is doing to support their discredited foreign policies and military adventures. An inciteful analysis is given in http://tellitlikeitis.wordpress.com/tag/pope/

In arguing against the use of force in religion, the Pope needn’t look far for ancient examples. The Vatican’s role in the Spanish Inquisition and the forceful conversion of Jews and Muslims to Christianity and the murder and expulsion of those that refused throughout the 15th century provides a rich field.
 
Written By: RS
URL: http://
Except the west got over the Inquisition and the forceful conversion, didn’t we?
And to boot, condemn it, and admit it’s rather shocking, barbaric, backwards, uncivilized, NOT ACCEPTABLE.

And Islam?

errrrr, yeah - couple three planes into a few American buildings
A few embassy’s burned for cartoons
civilians randomly kidnapped and slaughtered on tape
dead dutch film producer
bombs in various places throughout the world
Paris burns
Dead nuns
Allah Hu Ahkbar!

yeah, that’s the ticket.
Muslim leader outrage?
Sounds like crickets chirping in a field.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
RS- Again, all I can say about someone like you is that it would almost be worth it to see the final sharia triumph just so I can see the look on your face as you’re being led to the beheading block....
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
"RS- Again, all I can say about someone like you is that it would almost be worth it to see the final sharia triumph just so I can see the look on your face as you’re being led to the beheading block.... "
Well, shark’s comments pretty well says it all. Fantasizing and gloating over the beheading of someone you disagree with. What was it again that Islamist were trying to prove? Something about Islam not being violent and nothing to do about the sword…

Buddy
 
Written By: Buddy
URL: http://
I DEMAND THAT ALL MUSLIMS APOLOGIZE.

=)

 
Written By: n
URL: http://
So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you? 13: Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. 14: If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15: For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. 16: Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. 17: If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them. 18: I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen: but that the Scripture may be fulfilled, He that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me. 19: Now I tell you before it come, that, when it is come to pass, ye may believe that I am he. 20: Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that receiveth whomsoever I send receiveth me; and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me. John 13:12-20
 
Written By: n
URL: http://

 
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