Monday, September 18, 2006

'Death to anyone who says we're violent!'

This business with the pope and the outrage over his statements about Islam is crazy.

Last week he gave a speech where he referenced a record of a 14th century conversation between Byzantine Christian emperor, Manuel II Paleologus, and a Persian scholar. Here is the piece of text he quoted:
“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.”

The pope didn't say if he agreed with that sentiment at the time, but he sure is backing off from it now.

Muslims took this as a criticism. They thought the pope was saying Islam was a violent religion.

So how have they responded? With violence. Churches in the Middle East have been attacked. A nun in Somalia was murdered.

On Sunday the pope said he was “deeply sorry” about the angry reaction to his speech. The Vatican says the pope's use of the quote is being taken out of conext. Nonetheless, a militant group led by al Qaeda vowed a war against the “worshipers of the cross.”

But Islam is not a violent religion, right? At least it's not supposed to be. The Muslim leaders of the world need to do a better job reminding their followers of this fact.


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