Just when what little of my sanity was begining to return to me post-danish-cartoons, another wave of stupidity in the name of Islam has begun to take shape in response to the pope’s recent misguided comments on the religion…
GAZA CITY (AFP) – Four devices blew up near the oldest church in Gaza City, causing damage to a nearby building, a church worker has said, three days after the pope made comments deemed insulting to Islam. No casualties were reported in any of the incidents.
Early Friday morning, a home-made grenade exploded outside a Christian youth association building in the same compound as the Greek Orthodox church in downtown Gaza City, causing minor damage, police said.
A church worker said three small home-made bomb devices also blew up later in the day, one targeting the same youth association, one exploding inside the church compound and the fourth targeting the outer wall of the compound. [source]
…and really, what better way to protest someone who just accused your religion of being violent than by being violent? And Gaza of all places, as if it didn’t have enough problems on its hands already.
here’s a brighter idea for once…
A Sharia professor at Qatar University has invited Pope Benedict XVI to participate in a public debate to challenge his recent comments about Islam. Muhammad Ayash al-Kubaisi sent a letter on Thursday to the pope asking him to participate in a public debate to discuss the issues he had raised during his six-day visit to Germany.
Pope Benedict XVI caused controversy during a visit to his native Bavaria when he criticised the Islamic concept of jihad [holy war]. The letter which was sent to Aljazeera.net said that such statements would cause cultural and religious clashes between the East and West.
It described the Pope’s statements as evidence of ignorance of Islamic teachings, labelling the act a free gift to the current US administration which would use those critical remarks to justify the aggression on Muslim territories such as Afghanistan and Iraq. [source]
…it’s Christmas morning for Bin Laden too.
Well said. I mean does anyone think that the Pope really meant to insult Islam? Everyone knows what happened post the Danish cartoons – and incidentally Benedict was one of those to condemn their publication.
I see this more as a 78 year old theologian / academic trying to make a point about religious tolerance by quoting an obscure 14th century Byzantine Emperor. It was an odd quote to choose, especially since just saying the name ‘Mohammed’ in any shape or form is like a red rag to the bull in the Islamic World. And unfortunately, like the Danish cartoons, only a fraction of what was said will filter down.
But while Benedict might be old, he’s not stupid and would know that any perceived slight of Islam would put Christians in the Middle East in danger. And btw, what are Christian leaders in the region saying? Will any condemnation that’s not perceived as ‘fullsome’ enough put the community even more at risk?
Unfortunately this isn’t really about Benedict, the Emperor Manuel or even the Prophet Mohammed, is it? It’s another opportunity for certain religious and political leaders to whip the ‘street’ and blame all their ills on a modern crusade waged against them by the Zionists, George Bush etc
I’ll bet you a hundred dollars / dinars / euros though: A half apology will be issued by the Pope, probably as soon as Monday. “Not good enough!” will be the reaction. Cue a bit more rioting, protests and “Pope = Hitler” slogans. Cue another apology. And then several weeks down the line things might just die down. It’s actually depressing how predictable it is.
And incidentally, while the Islamic street will just hear a fraction of what Benedict said (if anything), all the Western one will pick up on is TV pictures of riots, scary men (to us) in beards burning Pope effigies, bomb plots and the like. Yes indeed, a fine day all around for religious and cultural tolerance and understanding!
The suggestion by the Qatari scholar is a good one btw. I’m not sure a public debate would ever happen, but at least a private discussion between the Pope and Muslim scholars would be a good step forward and would show that he’s taking the reaction to his lecture seriously.
If only people would think before acting. I mean this is just like proving your innocense by killing the person accusing you.
This isnt new or surprising and i dont think it will be the last neither. Hopefully, they will learn that such actions will only lead to more of what they are protesting about.
NB – it’s worth looking at the full text of the Pope’s lecture before anyone makes up their mind on whether he did or didn’t insult Islam. A PDF is available on the BBC site at:
personally, i find the idea of a public debate between the muslim scholars and the catholic pope hilarious. It reminds me of the invitation made by some rabbis to Mel Gibson not so long ago ‘to better understand’ judaism… What exactly are they going to debate? 20 centuries vs 14 centuries of psychological and physical aggression-oppression and see who ends up the more evil on the scoreboard?
Ahhh stupid flows like the 7 oceans.. vast vast stupidity. If only the Vatican had embassies, that would have spared our churches.