Sunday, September 17, 2006

Muslims angry despite Papal apology

Late last week, Pope Benedict XVI criticized Muslims in a speech. He later issued an apology stating that he was merely quoting an ancient Medieval text and had not intended the words to cause harm. In our time of terrorism and religious unrest int he Middle East, the Pope could not have been more careless. Even though these may not explicitly be his views, the inclusion of such inflamatory words was a poor choice. Now that the cat is out of the bag, the Pope is having trouble calming angry Muslims. Churches have been ambushed and an Italian nun was shot in Italy. What was in Pope Benedict's head when he wrote his speech? Where is his common sense? These statements have only caused more religious hatred and violence rather than opening dialogue and tolerance.


Elle said...

correction: the nun was shot in Somalia

hewhowould said...

I am not supporting the Pope Benedict XVI speech in the slightest but he did have a “mission” behind the speech. He had very little tact and went about the whole thing the wrong way. But I believe he was making a point of reconciliation. Benedict’s speech, I think, was trying to convey that even the Pope can say something wrong and stupid and when that happens even the Pope has to say “I am sorry”. This logic I am not going to lie even now sounds like bullshit but in order for people to take notice now a days something epic has to take place and thus Pope present the world with an catastrophic speech that even got a nun killed and caused at least seven churches to get attacked, though I believe he did not intend to happen. Just think about it for a moment. The Pope has hundreds of advisors and also understands that millions of people follow him. If the Pope, the man who is closest to God, can make a monumental mistake by criticizing another religions and then quickly apologies for it and regrets saying it, does that mean I should apologize for speaking ill of another religion or even raising a hand to them as well and seek their forgiveness? I think So. Apologizing and helping to end hatred towards other people has to start from the top or no one will follow.

thisisnotathens said...

I am not the largest supporter of Western Capitalism, but I do find myself partial to liberal democracy, and over the summer I found myself taking the West's side when it came to the Israeli-Lebanese skirmish/war. Bluntly I find radical Islam, along with other radicalized religious groups completely ridiculous. We have seen twice in the past year Islam rampage because either someone drew a picture of Mohammad, or some old white guy said something dumb. Someone needs to tell the Radical Muslims to relax, its not like they don't constantly decry Jews everyday. So everyone relax. There are bigger problems than the Pope's speech. Muslims, you want to be angry and riot, riot about the War on Terror. If your religion is so right and we are all infidels that are destined to hell, then what does it matter what we say anyway.

Tara said...

I think the Pope's recent comment demonstrates how cautious everyone must be about what they say. People have to "walk on their tip toes" because of the large state of unrest in the world. The Pope did issue an apology which Muslim's said was not enough. In times like these, people need to be open minded and more importantly, think before they speak.

hewhowould said...

Thisisnotathens take a look around you. There are radicals of every religion partaking in the same insane stuff as these radical Islamist you speak of do. Granted the news now a days focuses on Islam and the suicide bombers who kill in the name of Mohammad, but from what I have learned is that they are not even fallowing the five pillars found in the Koran. The second thing you have to realize is that Islam is actually a young religion compared to Christianity, Judaism, or Hinduism. Thus the entire religion is still trying to figure itself out and has to go through its bloody period, just as Christianity did during the dark ages. So before you instantly jump to criticize, look at where your belief system came from and look at what it went through and how death has changed it so.

MadMax said...

I'm sorry but I disagree, the Pope is the head of the church in most of the western world and I feel that what he said was the truth and needed to be said and that he
should have the freedom to say it.... He owes no one an apology.
Islam is a faith which stifles the truth and asks for blind faith from its followers and before anyone jumps in yes so does the catholic church-the difference being there is no death sentence pronounced upon you if you disagree or speak against Catholicism and why shouldn’t
people be allowed to question and speak against any religion ...many people are not religious and they are free to have opinions of their own about any religion they want is about time that Islam, the faith and the people realize that people outside their religion/way of life don’t agree with it and
they should be allowed the freedom to say so without the threat of death....Isn’t it ironic that
Islam’s response to the Pope proves him right!

thisisnotathens said...


First let’s make some distinctions so that we are speaking on the same terms. I will refer to Islam as the religion that follows the Koran, while I will refer to Radical Islam as an outgrowth of Islam that is highly politicized, highly aggressive, and theocratic.

With the terms defined:

1. I understand that parts of all religions, ideologies, and cultural groups have lashed out radically, but the difference is that the power structure of the Muslim world is shifting, and it’s shifting towards Radical Islam. The recent events in Lebanon and the elections of Hamas to represent the Palestinian people are parts of a trend of radicalization that started with the Iranian Revolution.

2. You are correct in saying that Islam is a relatively young religion, but to say that the current world climate, and Radical Islam's preference to violence is part of Islam's growth seems doubtful. To say that the current violence is just growing pains is to say that Radical Islam is truly representative of all Islam, which you have already denied. Also, to equate Islam today to Dark and Middle Ages Christian Europe is to deny the rich history and vast civilization that Islam once embodied. While Europe fought amongst each other and hunted for witches, the Muslim kingdoms flourished in trade, education, and philosophy. Even secular thought grew throughout the Muslim world. Moorish Spain was the most liberal of all the kingdoms, where religious tolerance and secular education and philosophy were prevalent. So to say that Islam is confused may be correct, but it is not from a lack of definition.

3. Rather than arguing that Islam is still trying to figure out who they are, it may come down to more a regression in a cultural trend. A better comparison to Western Culture probably would have been the totalitarian states of modern Europe. All of these states rose from a modern and defined set of cultures, but when pressures were put on them and their belief structures the buckled under. This may be an explanation to the current trend of radicalization in Islam. Just as the Italians, Germans, Spanish, and Greek fell into the spell of radicalization when there cultures fell apart due to varying reasons, so is Islam. The pressure of the Cold War, along with the new War on Terror is going to only cause more popular radical governments and the continued radicalization of Islam.

4. Finally it seems that you argue that death is a necessary part of any civilizations growth, which, while I will admit was part of the Western World's growth, does not necessarily have to be a part of any cultures growth.