Friday, September 15, 2006

Orthodox Offended Over Pope's Apology

Why must clerics in the Muslim world comb the daily news to find out what Christians have to say about them? Furthermore, does it not go without saying that a Catholic Pope should feel a little animosity concerning a religion that conquered much of historical Christendom and continues to be at odds with large parts of the Christian and/or secular world today? Why must leaders put up these fronts like they really want to hug and kiss all the time?

The actual news item in question is entitled 'Muslim anger grows over Pope's remarks'. I decided that it needed a new title to reflect my own reaction to it.

Basically Pope Benedict at Regensburg University quoted a 14th century Byzantine Emperor. The article lists it as Manuel II Paleologos.

Here's the quote that caused such a stir, given ostensibly to deal with the spreading of religion by violence:

“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.”

Naturally this sent Muslim leaders all over the globe into a free for all to suckle on the teat of public outrage.

Turkey’s top Islamic cleric asked Benedict to apologize and unleashed a string of accusations against Christianity, raising tensions before the pope’s planned visit to Turkey in November on what would be his first papal pilgrimage to a Muslim country.

Religious Affairs Directorate head Ali Bardakoglu, a cleric who sets the religious agenda for Turkey, said he was deeply offended by remarks about Islamic holy war made Tuesday during the pilgrimage to the pontiff’s homeland, calling them “extraordinarily worrying, saddening and unfortunate.”

Bardakoglu said that “if the pope was reflecting the spite, hatred and enmity” of others in the Christian world, then the situation was even worse.

Oh boy here we go. "Boo hoo. One time some Christians about a thousand years ago tried to take back the land we'd forcefully taken from them first." Whatever. Get a life. The Crusades killed Orthodox Christians too, and Jews - in large quantities I might add - but we aren't trying to develop this into the world's largest pity party.

In Egypt, Mohammed Mahdi Akef, the leader of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, also called for an apology.

“The remarks do not express correct understanding of Islam and are merely wrong and distorted beliefs being repeated in the West,” Akef said.

Yes. Those damned Westerners should realize that Islam is by definition the religion of peace and tolerance, which is why it is a virtually ubiquitous fact that Islamic nations have some of the worst religious tolerance of minorities around the globe and why you can find some kind of Muslim-related terrorism every single day in the news. Also, we stupid Westerners obviously don't understand that it wasn't really Islamic warriors from the Arabian peninsula that bulldozed 2/3 of the ancient Christian world from Syria, West to Morocco, and East through parts of Iran, northeast until finally stopped at the gates of Vienna and up northwest into southern France (both stopped by force I might add, not treaty). Those were actually JEws in disguise!

Here's another diamond in the rough:

The 57-nation Organization of the Islamic Conference, based in Jiddah, Saudi Arabia said it regretted “the pope’s quote and for the other falsifications.”

Umm, what, exactly, did the Pope "falsify"? I'm pretty sure his quote was accurate, unless you want to prove him wrong. And what were his "other falsifications"? That he teaches about the Trinity and the divinity of Christ? That he doesn't think the world should be ruled as a group of suppressed dhimmis under the supreme Umma and whatever the dominant trend of interpreted Shari'a happens to hold sway at the time? He never explicitly agreed with the quote, he was just making a point

And of all these places, Turkey is complaining? You know... Turkey used to have another name. It had an Emperor too... I think he was Christian... in fact, wasn't that Paleologos guy that the Pope was quoting somehow linked up with Istanbul? Can't remember how, but I seem to recall something about Byzantine Christians being in that area once...

Oh here we go!

Although officially secular Turkey is 99 percent Muslim, the main purpose of the pope’s pilgrimage there is to meet with the spiritual leader of the world’s 200 million Orthodox Christians, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, whose headquarters, for historical reasons, are in Istanbul.

Ahh yes, "historical reasons". That wouldn't be a ephemism for being caught in the middle of Violent Islamic Conquest would it?

Of course not, because that would be a gross distortion of Islamand I might have to demand an apology!

Come on folks, I mean you don't have to get on the hate Islam bandwagon, but could we at least drop the pretenses that this is some kind of historically peaceful religion? I mean we're not talking about one major flub, nor are we talking about something that isn't continuing today. It's not necessarily a reason not to be Muslim even - you don't have to be a peacetik to believe in God. But, shouldn't we show a little bit of deference to an Emperor who's empire was mowed down by a group citing that group as an example of violent conquest?


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