Friday, September 15, 2006

Pope Benedict and Islam

Pope Benedict XVI has quoted a 14th Century emperor saying "Show me just what Muhammad 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."

This kind of statement is only dangerous if it's true. If it is false then the benevolent hordes will emerge with counter-examples of all the good and peace brought by Muhammad.

But that's not what we are hearing. According to the BBC report...
Pakistan's parliament passed a resolution on Friday criticising the Pope for making "derogatory" comments. Derogatory maybe, but are the Pope's comments wrong? Where are the counter-examples?

The head of the Muslim Brotherhood said the Pope's remarks "aroused the anger of the whole Islamic world". Well maybe they were pissed-off to start with.

The thing is, in the West we have freedom of speech. That means we can say things that some people don't like. Hell, we can even say things that EVERYONE doesn't like. If you can only say non-offensive things then you have no freedom of speech.

Now, it follows that the Pope can say this, and the Muslims can say they disagree. In fact, I look forward to someone presenting an intellegent counter-argument. But don't give us these thinly veiled threats about arousing the anger of the whole Islamic world. We saw that crap errupt over the Danish Cartoons. And if we see more of the same this time we might just have to conclude that 14th century emperor was right and not much has changed in Islam.

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