Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Blog Roundup: The Pope & Islam

From Christianity Today, a roundup of blog comments on the Pope’s comments on Islam, and the reaction in the Islamic world.
The Muslim world is outraged by Pope Benedict’s criticism of “violent conversion” and references to the siege of Constantinople. A lawmaker from the Turkish ruling party said Benedict’s speech on the universality of reason “looks like an effort to revive the mentality of the Crusades” and that Benedict “is going down in history in the same category as leaders such as Hitler and Mussolini.” Pakistan’s parliament unanimously condemned the Pope and his remarks. In Srinagar, India, a group of Muslims burned an effigy of Benedict and shouted, “Those who dare to target Islam and the Prophet will be finished!”

“This is not an effective way to argue against someone who has questioned your religion’s relationship to violence,” notes Catholic blogger Amy Welborn.

“Honestly, the thin-skinnedness of many Muslims is getting awfully tiresome,” agrees Rod Dreher at Beliefnet’s Crunchy Con. “How on earth are we ever supposed to be able to have a dialogue if the non-Muslim side has to walk on eggshells to avoid offending the wounded sensibilities of Muslim leaders, who seem very eager to take gross offense at anything critical?”

Not that Benedict’s point was to criticize Islam, says National Catholic Reporter’s John Allen Jr. “He brought up the dialogue between Paleologus and the Persian to make a different point. Under the influence of its Greek heritage, he said, Christianity represents a decisive choice in favor of the rationality of God. While Muslims may stress God’s majesty and absolute transcendence, Christians believe it would contradict God’s nature to act irrationally. He argued that the Gospel of John spoke the last word on the biblical concept of God: In the beginning was the logos, usually translated as word, but it is also the Greek term for reason.”

And that’s why we should be defending the pope, said Italian Mario Mauro, one of 14 vice-presidents of the European Parliament. “Let us defend the Pope without ifs or buts, let us defend reason,” he said. “The monstrous attempt on the part of many Islamic leaders, even the so-called moderates, to distort the Pope’s reaching out to all religions (through the lecture), in order to hit out at Christians and the West shows us the gravity of the danger we are facing.”
Note that “[h]ow on earth are we ever supposed to be able to have a dialogue if [we have] to walk on eggshells to avoid offending . . . wounded sensibilities” is hardly a question limited to discussion of Islam.

It applies to the discussion of race, of gender and of sexual orientation.

The secular politically correct jihadists in modern universities are not much different from people who are buring the Pope in effigy.

Just ask Larry Summers of Harvard.

Just note some of the things coming from the Gay/Straight Alliance here at Marquette.


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