Pope and Islam Controversy - Latest Quotes
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September 22, 2006 (LifeSiteNews.com)
THE POPE’S DIVISIONS - BENEDICT XVI PROMOTES “INTERFAITH” DIALOQUE. MUSLIMS AND CHRISTIANS NEED IT - Ruel Marc Gerecht - Wall Street Journal
Let us be frank: There is absolutely nothing in the pope’s speech that isn’t appropriate or pertinent to a civilized discussion of revealed religions and ethics.
Benedict is trying to tackle many of the very same subjects that Iran’s former president, Mohammad Khatami, approached in his book, “From the City World to the World City”—but with considerably more erudition and tact. Mr. Khatami’s language, thought and historiography are often an intellectual mess and egregiously insulting to Christians, Jews and, most of all, Western atheists and agnostics. Yet Mr. Khatami is esteemed by many of those who scold the pope.
Is the pope wrong to imply—in a rather roundabout way—that there is today something amiss inside Islam, as a community of believers sharing one faith and a long, common cultural tradition? There probably isn’t a single liberal editor at a major American or European paper who doesn’t think that there is something a little dysfunctional—a disposition that tolerates, if not encourages and admires, violence as expression of religious outrage—among young Muslim males from Northern Europe to Indonesia.
Many Muslims know it too, even if they are not inclined to say so publicly—it’s often dangerous and always enormously difficult for believing and nonbelieving Muslims to aggressively critique their own when they know non-Muslims are listening.
Pope Benedict nailed two facts about Islam that are contributing factors to the faith’s very rough entry into modernity. The prophet Muhammad, the model for all Muslims, established the faith through war and conquest. His immediate successors, the Rightly Guided Caliphs, whom traditional and radical Muslims cherish, reinforced Islam’s identity as a victorious faith through the rapid creation of a world empire.
But what is most disturbing in the Western reaction to the pope’s speech—and one sees the same reaction among those who are uncomfortable with President Bush’s use of the term “Islamofascism”—is the often well-intentioned refusal to talk openly about the other side.
We need to stop treating Muslims like children, and viewing our public diplomacy with Islamic countries as popularity contests.
Westerners are doing Muslims an enormous disservice—a lethal bigotry of low expectations—by telling the pontiff to be more diplomatic. This isn’t how anti-Western Islamic theocrats, holy warriors and ordinary teachers in much of the Muslim world act. They’re having a real, vibrant discussion. We should turn it into a debate.
WHY BENEDICT DID NOT WANT TO FALL SILENT OR BACKPEDAL - by Sandro Magister - Chiasa
In reality, almost the entirety of Benedict XVI’s lecture in Regensburg was addressed to the Christian world, to the West and to Europe, which in his view are so sure of their naked reason – too sure – that they have lost the “fear of God.” But here as well the pope’s words found their confirmation in the facts. Hand in hand with the swell of verbal and physical violence on the part of Muslims, on the other side, in theory his own side, the pope was the target of incessant volleys of friendly fire.
But realism isn’t everything for Benedict XVI. The dialogue with Islam that he wants to create is not made of fearful silences and ceremonial embraces. It is not made of mortifications which, in the Muslim camp, are interpreted as acts of submission.
Benedict XVI is hopeful. He would not have been so daring if he did not believe in the real possibility that an interpretation of the Qur’an that marries faith with reason and freedom can be reopened within Islamic thought. But the voices in the Muslim world that are accepting his offer of dialogue are too weak and too few, and almost not to be found. And the pope is too much alone in a wayward Europe that really does resemble somewhat the Eurabia described by Oriana Fallaci, a “Christian atheist” whom he has read, met with, and admired. And then there is the violence that hangs over Christians in Islamic countries, and also outside of them – when, to silence the pope, members of his flock are killed, and all the better if they are innocent, like a religious sister, a woman.
THOUSANDS RALLY AGAINST POPE IN MIDEAST - myway.com
Enraged protesters, more calls to kill Pope and extreme intolerance of Muslim groups continue to prove validity of Pope’s talk calling for dialogue on religion and violence
Thousands of Muslim worshippers staged marches against Pope Benedict XVI in Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza on Friday, waving green Hamas banners and denouncing him as a “coward” and an “agent of the Americans.”
At Islam’s third-holiest shrine, the Al Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem, hundreds of worshippers hoisted black flags and banners that read, “Conquering Rome is the answer.” Protesters chanted, “The army of Islam will return.”
“If I get hold of the pope, I will hang him,” Hafiz Hussain Ahmed, a senior MMA leader, told protesters in Islamabad, who carried placards reading “Terrorist, extremist Pope be hanged!” and “Down with Muslims’ enemies!”
The demonstrations came a day after 1,000 clerics and religious leaders met in Lahore and called for the pope’s removal and warned the West of consequences if it didn’t change its stance regarding Islam.
‘GREEN FLAG OF ALLAH WILL FLY OVER VATICAN’ - WorldNetDaily
Sheik rejects pope’s gestures to Muslims, calls for holy war against ‘this little racist’
Sheik Abu Saqer, leader of Gaza’s Jihadia Salafiya Islamic outreach movement, which seeks to make secular Muslims more religious, called for holy war against the pope.
He said Christian leaders such as Benedict are “afraid” because they realize Islam is Allah’s favorite religion and they are going to hell unless they convert. The Gaza preacher declared the “green flag of Muhammad” would soon be raised over the Vatican.
And until they join Islam, hell is their last station,” Abu Saqer said.
MUSLIMS WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT POPE’S VIEW OF ISLAM - Reuters
Muslim intellectuals in Turkey are asking what he really thinks about their faith and what long-term consequences his views will have.
Muslim thinkers in Turkey, where the German-born Pontiff is due on a sensitive visit in late November, suspect Benedict suffers from “Orientalist” delusions about Islam and wants to move the Roman Catholic Church away from dialogue with it.
His argument that Christianity is rational could be an indirect way of saying Islam is unreasonable and has no place in Christian-rooted Europe, they say.
Usak rejected proposals for Muslims to read the Koran in a less literal way to bring their understanding of it more in line with the modern world.
“It’s impossible and against reality to ask a Muslim to reinterpret the Koran,” Usak declared.
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